Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Affordable rental homes and local jobs for Footscray

Tanya Plibersek today joined representatives from Mission Australia’s Seddon Apartments to tour one of the first projects in Victoria to be awarded funding under the Rudd Government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

The apartment complex will provide 66 separate units to a mix of low-income singles and families who are at risk of homelessness in Footscray.

Ms Plibersek said the Rudd Government was committed to providing more affordable housing through the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

“Mission Australia’s National Rental Affordable Scheme project is providing affordable rental homes and local job opportunities for long term unemployed people in the local Footscray area”, Ms Plibersek said.

“Having a decent and affordable place to live can make all the difference to a family trying to stay afloat or a young person making their start in life.

“The National Rental Affordability Scheme aims to improve affordability in the private rental sector by requiring rents to be at least 20 per cent below market value.

“The result is that there will be an extra 50,000 low cost and good quality rental homes across the country that simply would not exist without this Scheme.”

Mission Australia State Director, Paul Bird, said this is a great opportunity to provide low-cost housing in an area that is in desperate need of affordable housing.

“Mission Australia is delighted to be the first provider of affordable housing under NRAS in Victoria to support disadvantaged people in the Footscray area,” said Mr Bird.

“There will be 44 studio, seven one-bedroom, 14 two-bedroom apartments and a training cafĂ© for residents.

Mission Australia is using young trainees in its Urban Renewal Enterprise Employment Program (UREEP) to landscape the gardens and build fences on the property at Footscray.

Ms Plibersek said the Rudd Government is also building more than 20,000 new social housing dwellings as part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

“These initiatives are a practical demonstration of the Rudd Government’s commitment to halve the number of homeless families and individuals in Australia by 2020,” Ms Plibersek said.