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Tasmanian government calls for federal action as NRAS cut-off looms

By Juliet Helmke
07 June 2022 | 1 minute read

Tasmania’s minister for housing has again drawn attention to a looming deadline that could worsen the rental affordability crisis in the state and across the country.

Fresh off of reiterating its commitment to assist tenants exiting the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), the Tasmanian government has issued a call to the federal government to address the hardship facing those soon to lose the program.

The scheme, which was an initiative of the Rudd Labor government that came into effect in 2008, was axed in 2014 and is now nearing its 2026 end date. It functioned by providing a financial incentive to landlords who made their rental dwellings available at a price of at least 20 per cent below market rates. 

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Just last week, the Tasmanian government highlighted the uncertainty facing renters who have been benefiting from the scheme and noted the action it was taking to ensure they weren’t left high and dry.

Guy Barnett, Tasmania’s Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing, noted that the state had changed some of the parameters of its Private Rental Incentive Program to enable tenanted properties exiting from NRAS to be considered eligible for assessment under the state provided program.

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

Now, Mr Barnett has noted that state assistance alone won’t be enough to protect these tenants from hardship and called on the federal government to help them, alongside the wider population of renters facing housing stress.

“One of the most pressing issues is the winding up of the NRAS, which continues to cause a great deal of anxiety for some Tasmanians. This is a federal scheme so its future rests with federal Labor,” he noted.

“The Tasmanian government is doing what it can to work with impacted residents to provide assistance through state-run initiatives like the Private Rental Incentive Program. However, minister Collins must step up and help find an ongoing solution for the remaining Tasmanians due to exit NRAS,” he said, referring to Julie Collins, the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, appointed last week.

“Our government continues to step in for federal Labor in order to prevent Tasmanians from ending up on the street, but it is time Ms Collins takes action to support vulnerable community members and find a solution,” Mr Barnett said.

“Federal Labor cannot wash its hands of responsibility just because they are new to government, they have been elected to take charge and take action.”

Tasmanian government calls for federal action as NRAS cut-off looms
Guy Barnett reb
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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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