National Rental Affordability Scheme; safety net for charities

The Treasurer announced on November 12, 2008 that the Rudd Government will introduce a transitional safety net to enable the charitable sector to participate in the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), which will help build up to 50,000 new rental properties across Australia at a cost of $623 million in the first four years in order to boost rental stocks, lower infrastructure costs for some entry level housing, and help people save for their first home. 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.

To ensure that the charitable sector can participate fully in the scheme, the Australian Government will introduce a transitional safety net by amending both charity and tax laws. This 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 considers 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, at which time the Government will review the Scheme to ensure it continues to meet its objectives.

Senator Ursula Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, said, “A key component of this is to work closely with charitable organisations to encourage their participation in the scheme. The Rudd Government is committed to work in partnership with non-profit organisations to build stronger communities and improve the lives of all Australians”.

The media release can be read on the Treasurer’s website.

Nov. 13, 2008

 Tags: topical issues, government, general, advocacy

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