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Understanding NRAS

“I love my home and its location and I feel grateful that this sort of option is available.”

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Understanding NRAS

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) began in 2008 and was designed to help solve the problem many Australians are facing in finding affordable rental properties by increasing the supply of new affordable rental housing, while reducing rental costs for low to moderate income households. Alongside this, the scheme encourages large-scale investment and innovative management of affordable housing.

NRAS does not provide social housing, it’s about making more affordable rental homes available to families and individuals - from students to retirees and anyone in between.


The NRAS scheme is a Federal and State Government backed incentive scheme creating a new investment asset class designed to:

  • encourage investors to develop additional new houses for the rental market.

  • provide an affordable rent program for average Australian wage earners as individuals, couples and families. It is not social housing.

  • yield higher than usual returns for investors in the residential property market.

  • increase the number of rental dwellings built through the stimulation of demand and investment, while supporting the building industry and related jobs and the Australian economy.

  • the Government aims to achieve this by providing a tax incentive for investors in NRAS properties in return for the properties being rented at a discounted rate.


The NRAS scheme is NOT social housing.

Approved participants of the scheme are eligible to receive a national rental incentive for each approved home where it is rented to eligible low and moderate-income households at a rate that is at least 20% below the prevailing market rates. 

There are strict guidelines for properties to qualify under the NRAS scheme. NRAS properties must be close to transport, schools, shops etc making NRAS properties desirable for tenants and property investors.

There are also specified guidelines for the management of NRAS properties. The property manager is responsible for ensuring that tenants meet the income criteria and that they are reviewed against the criteria every year.


Who benefits from the scheme?

NRAS aims to provide affordable rental housing for low to moderate households. Eligible individuals and families are able to rent NRAS dwellings at a discounted rate, making their rental housing more affordable. NRAS is intended as a tax-free commercial investment option for participants while also increasing the supply of affordable housing in Australia. Investors in the Scheme may benefit from enhanced cash returns, annual rental incentive and reduced vacancy rates over the 10-year life of NRAS.

NRAS for tenants

Properties leased out under NRAS are offered at 20% below the Market Value Rent which provides an affordable renting option to those prospective low-income residents that are eligible. NRAS does not provide residents with any special rights over and above the relevant residential tenancy legislation in the State or Territory where the dwelling is located.

Tenants sign a standard lease for the property the same as for any other rental and are required to complete a Tenant Demographic Assessment (TDA). The TDA form is a requirement to be able to tenant a property under NRAS as this information along with your income documentation must be provided to the Department of Social Services at the end of each NRAS year to ensure prospective resident eligibility. 

NRAS property managers can include not-for-profit organisations (such as a community housing provider), commercial businesses (such as a private real estate agent), local government bodies or State or Territory governments. Urban Choices Property is an approved participant in the NRAS scheme and has vast experience in managing these tenancies to ensure compliance and eligibility. We make sure all our properties are advertised and open for inspection. 

NRAS eligibility

NRAS eligibility

The first step is to refer to our Eligibility Check List. If you are eligible you will then need to complete the Application for Housing and send with all required supporting documents to our office for assessment.

Eligibility criteria

  • As a primary applicant, you must be 18 years or over.

  • Your income must be no more than the below maximum limits (including children): NRAS 2017-18

One Adult

Two Adults

Three Adults

Four Adults

Sole Parent with 1 Child

Sole Parent with 2 Children

Sole Parent with 3 Children

Couple with 1 Child

Couple with 2 Children

Couple with 3 Children

Each Additional Child

$52,324.00 per annum

$72,341.00 per annum

$92,358.00 per annum

$112,375.00 per annum

$72,391.00 per annum

$89,748.00 per annum

$107,105.00 per annum

$89,698.00 per annum

$107,055.00 per annum

$124,412.00 per annum

$17,357.00 per annum

  • For all household members over 18yrs to supply 12 months consecutive payslips (this includes youth allowance). If self-employed we require a current tax return statement or profit and loss statement.

  • 12 months of bank statements for all bank accounts held by the applicant

  • Proof of Identity - you will need to provide copies of one Primary ID and two secondary ID from the below.

Primary ID

Drivers licence

Passport (must be current)

Key pass

Birth Certificate (or extract)

Citizenship Documents

Secondary ID

Medicare card

Pension card

Centrelink concession card

Electoral Role Registration

Motor Vehicle Registration

Utility Rates

If you meet the above criteria and are have all of the supporting documentation, then you can apply for housing via our ‘Housing Application Form’.

More information can be found here:

Department of Social Services Official NRAS resource page

Department of Human Services Housing Page  |  NRAS explained

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