How NRAS works
The NRAS is an Australian scheme that reduces rental costs for low to medium income households and increases the the number of affordable rental housing through offering financial incentives for housing providers to decrease their rent significantly.
Affordable housing includes a range of housing types and sizes, from single units to houses and apartments, and is usually managed by non-profit community housing providers.
Affordable housing isn’t the same as social housing, although most people eligible for social housing are also eligible for NRAS. NRAS is designed to support people who are going through a change in their life such as leaving home, having a baby or getting a divorce, and as such, the maximum level of income to be eligible is higher than it is for social housing.
Rental fees under the NRAS can be determined through two ways:
- Discounted rent. Rent under the NRAS will usually be roughly 20-25% below the market rate - determined by indexing the property against similar properties in the area.
- Proportion of income. The second way to determine rent is through a percentage of one’s before tax income. When rent is set this way, households can expect to pay 25-30% of before tax income for rent.
Generally, most tenants seeking affordable housing will need to enter into a fixed term lease, although tenants must continue to meet eligibility criteria through the duration of the tenancy. As long as eligibility is maintained, tenants under the NRAS are usually able to continue or renew their lease.
Eligibility for NRAS
Eligibility is predominantly determined by income based on household size, savings, and citizenship, although eligibility standards do change by state and housing supplier. Some general eligibility criteria include:
- You must be an Australian Citizenship, permanent residency or have Temporary Protection visa XA visa subclass 785 or Temporary Protection visa XC visa subclass 785.
- You must be a resident of the state in which you are applying for NRAS, or provide evidence of your need to move to the state in which you are applying for NRAS.
- You or your household members must not own or partly own property in Australia or overseas.
- Your savings and investments must not exceed must not exceed $114,187.50 for a single person, or $145,875.00 for 2 or more household members.
- The proposed household’s combined annual gross income must not exceed the following:
Source: Department of Social Services, Australia