Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Rudd Government housing agenda helping older Australians in the Hunter

Tanya Plibersek, today attended an affordable housing for seniors forum in Morriset with Charlton MP Greg Combet to discuss the Rudd Government’s $2.2 billion investment in new housing programs with local residents.

“The Government is getting on with the job of implementing the new measures for housing affordability that were announced in the May budget,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Older Australians who are struggling to find affordable housing in their communities will benefit from the Government’s $623 million investment in a new National Rental Affordability Scheme, which will help to build 50,000 new affordable rental properties around Australia.

“Rent for these properties will be 20 per cent below the market rate for eligible tenants. If demand for rental properties is still strong, a further 50,000 properties will be built from 2012 onwards.”

Federal Member for Charlton, Greg Combet, said: “The reason I held this forum was to talk to the community about their changing housing needs.

“Like many parts of Australia, my electorate has an increasing proportion of people over 55 years old and they are finding it harder than ever to access affordable and suitable housing.

“I am keen to ensure that residents of my electorate take advantage of the opportunities provided through the Government’s housing agenda.

“That is why I was so pleased that Tanya Plibersek was able to talk about new programs like the National Rental Affordability Scheme today.”

The number of older people in low-income, rental households is expected to more than double from 195,000 at present to 419,000 by 2026.

The National Rental Affordability Scheme will help increase the supply of affordable housing for these Australians.

The Government has made Aged and Community Services Australia a Partnership Facilitator for the Scheme to help ensure that it delivers affordable housing suitable for older Australians.

Information sessions on this important new initiative are being held across the country, with one to be held on Thursday 14 August 2008 at 10.00am at Newcastle City Hall.

For further information, visit National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS)