With housing affordability on the Sunshine Coast still a key issue, it’s no surprise hundreds of local renters are flocking to join the National Rent Affordability Scheme (NRAS) waiting lists enabling them to rent properties at a minimum of 20 per cent below market rent.
CEO of housing provider Coast2Bay Housing Group, Morrie Evans, said his staff members were receiving numerous calls each day from renters asking to be added to the waiting list.
“We currently have a few hundred prospective tenants registered and expect this number to grow as more people become aware of NRAS and what benefits it poses to their weekly budget,” Mr Evans said.
An initiative of the federal and state governments, NRAS has been developed to help alleviate the current rental affordability crisis by delivering 50,000 new affordable rental dwellings across Australia.
Mr Evans said NRAS eligible tenants were generally key workers in the community such as nurses, teachers, police officers, childcare workers, fire-fighters and paramedics that meet specific annual income thresholds.
“Approximately 1.5 million Australians are eligible to rent under NRAS, with prospective tenants able to earn up to $106,598 each year,” Mr Evans said.
“These figures suggest approximately 60 per cent of the Sunshine Coast population is eligible to become a tenant under the initiative.”
Mr Evans said this was good news for investors with NRAS properties located on the Sunshine Coast as it virtually guaranteed quality tenants with stable incomes would be signing up to move in to these dwellings.
“Sunshine Coast residents tend to earn less than their city counterparts working in the same careers, however NRAS is not weighted to compensate for city salaries. We therefore see a lot of teachers and nurses that earn a steady and reasonable income for the Coast applying to rent under the scheme, even though they wouldn’t necessarily be eligible if they were located in metropolitan areas and earning more,” Mr Evans said.
“All prospective tenants also undergo a rigorous assessment process to determine whether they possess a solid rental history and steady income source, so property owners can rest assured quality tenants are being placed in their investment properties.”
Mr Evans said properties needed to meet a range of criteria to gain NRAS accreditation and more of these dwellings were becoming available on the Sunshine Coast.
“With only 50,000 properties able to obtain NRAS accreditation, the government is being diligent in only selecting properties located in high-growth areas with close proximity to shops and amenities.”
“This, combined with the low rental rates ensures NRAS accredited dwellings will remain in high demand for years to come.”
“Properties that would ordinarily command $320 each week in rent will be charged out at around $256 or less, leaving tenants with an extra $60 to put towards food, other necessities or entertainment,” Mr Evans said.
Mr Evans said renters were not the only ones to benefit from NRAS, with property investors also able to capitalise on tax incentives provided by the initiative.
“Property investors that purchase an NRAS accredited property are offered sizeable tax incentives valued at more than $100,000 over a 10 year period, in exchange for offering rent at a discount of at least 20 per cent,” Mr Evans said.
“This is music to the ears of investors as they are provided with an investment that can be cash flow positive in the first year, which is virtually unheard of.”
“The scheme really does present a win for all parties involved.”
To learn more about NRAS and determine whether you are eligible to rent under the initiative, email Coast2Bay Housing Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on (07) 5451 2900.