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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

First National Rental Affordability Scheme homes open in South Australia

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jennifer Rankine MP, SA Minister for Housing

Federal Tanya Plibersek and South Australian Minister for Housing Jennifer Rankine today attended the first official opening of a National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) project in South Australia.

This Scheme is a key component of the Rudd Government’s comprehensive housing package, which will boost rental stocks, help people save for their first home and lower housing infrastructure costs for some entry level housing.

The National Rental Affordability Scheme will help build up to 50,000 new rental properties across Australia by 2012, which will then be rented out at 20 per cent below market rate.

Ms Plibersek said the Rudd Government is committed to providing more affordable housing to households on low and moderate incomes through the NRAS, while new construction supports jobs in the building industry.

“The National Rental Affordability Scheme is a great example of what can happen when governments across the country work together to tackle affordability in the rental market,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The National Rental Affordability Scheme also provides work for builders and tradies in these tough global economic times due to the fact that each dwelling needs to be new construction in order to qualify.

“These 12 one-bedroom units in the Hampstead Gardens are providing affordable accommodation to older Australians on low incomes, many of whom are pensioners.

“Some of the tenants are saving between $70 and $140 per week on their previous rent, which can make a huge difference to their quality of life.”

Under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, the 12 one-bedroom units will receive $6,000 per year from the Australian Government. The South Australian Government will provide an additional $2,000.

Ms Rankine said these homes were part of 422 approved across the State in the first round of the NRAS.

“These additional 33 dwellings will provide affordable rental accommodation for older Australians and families in South Australia,” she said.

“This funding is also supporting jobs for South Australians in the construction industry during these challenging economic times.”

“The South Australian Government has committed $2.782 million to help build 21 of the 33 rental homes – exceeding the Australian Government’s requirements of the Scheme.

“The funding will enable the Adelaide Benevolent Society to assist more low-income earners with affordable accommodation in South Australia.”

The 21 homes will also receive the Commonwealth incentive of $6,000 per year for 10 years in addition to the capital funding supplied by the South Australian Government.

Ms Plibersek said housing and construction is a major employer in the Australian economy.

“That’s why housing has featured so strongly in the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan – firstly through the First Home Owners Boost and then by building 20,000 new social housing dwellings,” she said.

“This investment in social housing will stimulate the building and construction industry and has been estimated by Treasury to support 15,000 jobs nationally over the next two years.”