Impacts being felt from affordable rental scheme winding down across the Hunter

The axing of an affordable rental housing scheme that provides almost 230 roofs over peoples heads in the Newcastle local government area alone is being felt by our vulnerable.

The National Rental Affordability Housing Scheme (NRAS) was introduced in 2008 and discontinued in 2014 and provides incentives for owners to hand over properties to be rented out for at least 20 per cent less than market value.

Properties have been being handed back to the market since last year as a result of the discontinuation of the program and will see a total of 436 affordable rentals across the Hunter handed back between 2021 and 2026, when all properties on the scheme are to be returned. 

According to the latest NRAS quarterly report, those properties by LGA are in Newcastle (226), Lake Macquarie (49), Maitland (108), Cessnock (16), Port Stephens (32), Singleton (2), Upper Hunter (3).

At a time when there’s already unprecedented demand on available and affordable rental properties in the region, the ceasing of the program will only fuel the issue.

2HD probed Greens Federal Candidate for the Senate David Shoebridge about the issue when he was in Newcastle this week and he said the scheme was flawed to begin with and they have a better plan to give people a roof over their heads.

“The National Rental Affordability Scheme was nothing other than a bandaid providing very marginal but sometimes essential rental relief.

“We know that the private housing market it broken. We need to get rid of the lurks for investors like the capital gains tax concessions and negative gearing and we need to provide downward pressure on private property prices.

“That’s urgent and only the Greens are committing to that.

“Beyond that we need to get out of the private property market and build one million affordable homes. That’s public housing for some of the 60 thousand people on the waitlist for housing just in NSW,” Mr Shoebridge said.  

Pictured: David Shoebridge and Newcastle Councillor Charlotte McCabe. Image: Jarrod Melmeth/2HD

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