The issue of rental affordability featured prominently in the 2007 Federal Election and was a priority for the incoming Government. Subsequently the elected Government commenced planning for the implementation of a new affordable housing initiative. The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) was officially launched by the then Minister for Housing and the then Treasurer, on 24 July 2008. This was several months in advance of the legislation and regulations supporting the operation of the scheme being put in place.
This audit has focused on the application and assessment stages of NRAS since it commenced. The report contains no recommendations as further NRAS rounds are not expected to be called and changes to the conditions of reserved allocations can now only be made in very limited circumstances, mainly in the event of a natural disaster. Nevertheless, NRAS will continue to operate for a further 10 years as dwellings are entered into the scheme and annual incentive payments fall due. Over this time it is important that the responsible department maintains an appropriate level of senior management oversight of the scheme.