Faqs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 About NRAS

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is a long-term commitment by the Australian and Queensland Governments to develop a sustainable solution to the housing shortage by assisting investors who are prepared to build affordable rental housing.

The NRAS seeks to address the shortage of properties currently suitable and available for low-moderate income households by providing incentives to:

•      increase the supply of affordable rental dwellings;

•      reduce rental costs for low to moderate income households; and

•      encourage large-scale investment and innovative delivery of affordable housing.

The scheme provides eligible individuals and families NRAS dwellings at a discounted rate whilst offering investors a tax-free investment option that increases the supply of affordable housing in Australia by 50,000 dwellings at a rate 20 per cent below market rate.

Investors will benefit from enhanced cash returns; annual rent guarantees and reduced vacancy rates over the 10-year life of their NRAS incentive.

Coast2Bay Housing Group is proud to be a participating not-for-profit partner of the scheme and are actively involved in the development and management of several NRAS projects.

Who oversees NRAS?

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) is responsible for managing NRAS, in consultation with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The Commonwealth is working with State and Territory Governments, investors and not-for-profit housing providers in the ongoing management of NRAS, which commenced on 1 July 2008.

How do tenants apply for NRAS housing?

In Queensland all applicants for an NRAS dwelling must first register on the Department of Housing and Public Works’ Housing Register.

The tenancy manager of the particular property, such as Coast2Bay, manages this list. The allocation of NRAS dwellings to tenants is assessed by, and at the discretion of Coast2Bay based on NRAS eligibility requirements and our policies and processes.

If you are not currently registered for NRAS housing and would like to be, you can register online at

http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/housing/housing-services/renting-in-the-private-market/national-rental-affordability-scheme/information-for-prospective-tenants

or call the Contact Centre on 1300 880 882 and have an application form posted to you.  

Who is eligible for NRAS housing?

Once a tenant has registered for NRAS housing with Department of Housing and Public Works, final eligibility checks will be carried out by tenancy management at Coast2Bay Housing Group (C2B) prior to a tenant being approved for a property.

NRAS aims to provide affordable rental housing for low to moderate-income earners including key and essential service workers, such as childcare workers, nurses, police officers, fire-fighters and paramedics.

Income levels for eligible NRAS tenants will accommodate a range of low to moderate incomes and will allow for increases in income above CPI. Income increases of up to 25 percent above the initial income limit thresholds for two years after entering an NRAS dwelling are allowed before becoming ineligible for the discounted rent.

 How are tenants selected for NRAS housing?

Investors and their tenancy managers select tenants for NRAS properties, except in Queensland. Queensland tenants are selected from the Queensland Government’s Department of Housing and Public Works’ NRAS Housing Register.

Tenancy managers, such as Coast2Bay, select tenants and maintain waiting lists for NRAS homes with assessment and selection of tenants being at the discretion of the tenancy management organisation. As long as NRAS eligibility requirements are met, tenancy decisions will be made in line with their usual policies and processes.

Can tenants be evicted?

Tenancy management organisations under the Scheme must comply with the residential tenancy legislation and relevant tenancy and property management regulations in the State or Territory in which the dwelling is located. Any eviction must be in accordance with the residential tenancy legislation and regulations.

 Can anyone invest in NRAS properties?

Yes. NRAS is designed to be attractive to the Australian property investor, subject to an investor being able to get finance. Interested investors should discuss the suitability of any investment with an independent advisor before making a commitment.

Is NRAS about privately funded housing commission properties?

No. It is important to distinguish this program from "Social Housing Program". The National Rental Affordability Scheme is designed to address the housing affordability crisis by increasing the supply of private rental housing targeting key workers in communities.

Are the NRAS scheme incentives tax-free?

Yes. The incentives are paid as a cash payment and are  ‘non assessable and non exempt’ for tax purposes.

How much is the NRAS incentive worth each year and what is the NRAS payment process?

The NRAS Incentive is currently $10,350 per dwelling, and is indexed each year to the rental component of the CPI.

The Incentive comprises:

a)    an Australian Government contribution of $7,763 per dwelling per year (paid as a refundable tax offset or payment. 2012-13); and

b)    a State or Territory Government contribution of $2,587 per dwelling per year (in direct or in-kind financial support. 2012-13)

When does the NRAS Tax Free incentive contribution actually get paid?

Once NRAS conditions have been met, NRAS investors are provided with their annual tax offset certificate for their NRAS property investments.

The NRAS year is from 1 May until 30 April each year. Payments are made by the Australian Government in July and by the states/territories around September, following the end of each NRAS year.

Does the Australian government back the incentive?

Yes - The federal government is committed to paying the annual NRAS incentive for approved dwellings.

Who determines the 20% discount rental rate?

Independent registered and qualified valuers determine what the market rent is for years 1, 4 and 7. A CPI adjustment is used for the other years.

Can I sell my NRAS property or remove it from the Scheme and rent it at market rates?

Yes, there are notice periods that apply to permit C2B to find alternative properties for the incentives and maintain the benefit for tenants.  Cancellation fees apply.

Can I sell the property at any time?

Yes and the NRAS entitlements go with the property for the time that is left of the 10 years where the buyer wishes to retain the property in the NRAS program.

When does the NRAS incentive begin?

When the tenant moves in and is pro-rated for the remainder of the period until 30 April.

What happens at the end of the 10 years?

You can sell or keep the property and the market rent returns to the normal rent.

How do I apply for a Coast2Bay dwelling?

Tenant’s procedure

Coast2Bay Housing Group will introduce their first NRAS properties in early 2013 with a continuous supply available over the next 12 months. 

If you would like to apply for an NRAS property, you must follow these steps:

  1. Register with the Department of Housing and Public Works.  Access their online application via the link below:

http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/housing/housing-services/renting-in-the-private-market/national-rental-affordability-scheme/information-for-prospective-tenants

  1. Once you have received confirmation that you are eligible, please contact Coast2Bay’s NRAS Manager on 5451 2900 to register your details on the NRAS database.  Coast2Bay will carry out final eligibility checks at the time application for a property is made.

 

Content provided by Coast2Bay Housing Group