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Tasmanian NRAS tenants assured they won’t be left high and dry

By Juliet Helmke
31 May 2022 | 10 minute read
Guy Barnett reb

The Tasmanian government has announced efforts to help the state’s residents who were benefiting from the Australian government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

The scheme, which came into effect in 2008 and is currently in the process of being wound down, provided a financial incentive to landlords who made their rental dwellings available at a price of at least 20 per cent below market rates. 

An initiative of the Rudd Labor government, the program is now nearing its 2026 end date, after being axed in 2014. 

Guy Barnett, Tasmania’s Minister for State Development, Construction, and Housing, commented on the impact that the scheme’s demise is having on many renters’ lives within the state.

“I understand the anxiety that the winding up of this program is having on some Tasmanians, a situation being felt by tenants across the country,” Mr Barnett said.

While the scheme’s demise is certainly impacting tenants across the country, it’s no surprise that Tasmanian politicians are feeling an urgent need to address the issue, with the state’s larger cities experiencing some of the tightest rental markets in Australia.

Mr Barnett noted that while the federal program’s eligibility criteria were different to the criteria for many of Tasmania’s housing assistance schemes, he was working to ensure that tenants exiting the federal program weren’t falling through the cracks.

“To support these tenants, the Tasmanian government has made changes to the Private Rental Incentive Program to enable tenanted properties exiting from NRAS to be considered eligible for assessment under the state provided program,” he noted.

Tasmania’s 2022-2023 budget includes $9.25 million to expand the program for this purpose.

“In addition, we are encouraging anyone impacted who need assistance to contact Housing Connect to test their eligibility for the Private Rental Incentive Program and other programs that offer a wide range of support and assistance,” Mr Barnett added.

Mr Barnett also pledged to raise the issue with the new federal minister for housing and encouraged his colleagues in the State Parliament to do the same.

“I will be writing to the new federal housing minister once sworn in next week about this important matter, as well as how we will work together to tackle housing affordability and homelessness,” he said.

“I call on the Tasmanian Labor Opposition to reach out to their counterparts in Canberra and raise their concerns to help those Tasmanians in need”.


Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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