The federal government has doubled its National Rental Affordability Scheme – reflecting the “severity of the housing affordability problem”, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced yesterday.
The scheme will now expand its reach to provide construction incentives to 100,000 new affordable rental properties, doubling the original 50,000 target.
“Under the scheme, the Commonwealth will provide private investors with tax credits of $6,000 a year for ten years for new properties that are rented at 20 per cent below the prevailing market level,” Mr Rudd said.
States and territories will also provide $2,000 per home through either cash payments or in kind, the Prime Minister said.
Mr Rudd said the policy could deliver weekly savings of $70 for some families by reducing rent on an average three bedroom unit from $350 to $280 per week.
He also announced plans to invest up to $30 million in national electronic development assessments and online tracking services to streamline planning approvals and reduce the cost of new homes.
Currently, delays in planning approvals create holding costs, such as interest and land taxes, which according to the housing industry push up the price of new homes by tens of thousands of dollars, Mr Rudd said.
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