Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Housing Minister meets happy tenant

A Gillard Government initiative is saving Austins Ferry pensioner Carleen Jacobson almost $3,400 on rent each year.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor today met Ms Jacobson and toured her home that she rents under the Gillard Government’s $4.5 billion National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

Ms Jacobson, a widow on the Age Pension, is one of the many thousands of low and moderate income earners across the nation benefitting from NRAS.

Ms Jacobson saves $65 a week in rent on her 18-month-old three-bedroom apartment in Hobart’s northwest, which is conveniently close to services, shops and public transport.

Mr O’Connor said NRAS encourages private investment in innovative affordable housing, and reducing rental costs for low and moderate income households.

“The Gillard Government understands that the shortage of affordable rental properties in Hobart makes it especially difficult for pensioners and other low income earners to find affordable accommodation close to services and transport,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The National Rental Affordability Scheme provides annual financial incentive payments to the business sector and community organisations to build and rent new homes at a minimum of 20 per cent below the market rate.”

Ms Jacobson’s apartment is in a complex of two units, managed by housing provider Mali Property Group.

Mali, a consortium of well-established property management and development professionals, has delivered 206 new homes in Tasmania under NRAS.

”Across Australia, NRAS is supporting the construction of 50,000 new affordable rental properties, giving thousands of families and pensioners the chance to save thousands of dollars every year in rent,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Already, across Australia 11,270 homes have been built under NRAS, with 28,520 more in the pipeline.

“In Tasmania, 1,460 more affordable rental homes have been supported, with 483 already complete and tenanted.

“Federal Labor are proud to work in partnership with our state and territory counterparts to deliver savings for renters and to help stimulate the supply of housing across Australia.”

Since coming to office, federal Labor has invested an unprecedented $20 billion in affordable housing and homelessness programs, and has made a direct financial contribution to one in 20 homes built across the nation since 2008.