Charity Safety Net for Rental Affordability Scheme
1 December 2008 at 4:48 pm
The Rudd Government will introduce a transitional safety net to cover charities looking to participate in the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).
NRAS is part of the Rudd Government’s $2.2 billion affordable housing package, which aims to boost rental stocks, help people save for their first home and lower housing infrastructure costs for some entry level housing.
The Government says the key component of this is to work closely with charitable organisations to encourage their participation in the scheme.
The NRAS will help build up to 50,000 new rental properties across Australia at a cost of $623 million in the first four years.
If market demand remains strong, another 50,000 incentives for a further 50,000 affordable rental dwellings will be made available over five years from July 2012.
To ensure that the charitable sector can participate fully in the scheme, the Government says it will introduce a transitional safety net by amending both charity and tax laws.
The amendment will mean that the proposed participation of existing charities in the Establishment Phase of NRAS will not affect their charitable status.
To ensure that charitable tax concessions remain appropriately targeted, the Government believes that the safety net should apply to those charities that make applications for 11,000 incentives available in the Establishment Phase of NRAS – for projects that will be built in 2008-09 and 2009/10 of the Scheme.
The safety net will expire at the conclusion of the Establishment Phase.
NRAS rental properties will cost 20 per cent below market rate and up to 1.5 million households will be eligible to be tenants under the Scheme – including aged pensioners and key workers.