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How you can help solve Australia's housing affordability crisis

Investing in NRAS

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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 two years.


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 Landlords

The benefits of investing in NRAS. How we can help

Investing in NRAS
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Urban Choices currently manages 450* NRAS-registered properties in Melbourne and has grown by 30%* since commencing operations in April 2016. 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.

We have an experienced team that can manage the NRAS for your property. Your property manager will manage all requirements and obligations under the NRAS, ensuring that the approved NRAS property complies with the scheme whilst carrying out normal property management duties.

In 2015/2016, 99.7% of our investors were compliant and received their full NRAS incentive.

NRAS provides a substantial annual incentive, to persons or entities to build and rent new dwellings to low and moderate-income households at a rate that is a least 20% below the market value rent. The incentive is available to approved participants.

The property is leased out to eligible tenants for 20% below the Market Value Rent. Each year the owner of the approved property is entitled to lodge compliance documents to claim the governments incentive payments which comprise both state and federal governments.

The Government has committed to fund up to 38,000 NRAS dwellings for the full 10-year incentive period. The final dwellings were due to be delivered into the Scheme by 30 June 2016 and NRAS will conclude on 30 June 2026 (with no dwellings eligible to receive an incentive beyond this date).

From an Investor perspective, there are two key elements of the Incentive:

  1. A Commonwealth Government Incentive currently of $8,335.75* per dwelling per year as a refundable tax offset or payment; and

  2. A State or Territory Government Incentive currently of $2,778.58* per dwelling per year in direct or in kind financial support.


       * NRAS payments as at 1 May 2017


Urban Choices Property is an approved participant in NRAS Scheme and has qualified staff trained to ensure its investors get the maximum incentive they are entitled to. The Australian governments reporting and compliance conditions are detailed and complex and any mistakes or failures in compliance may result in a reduction or loss of the incentive payment. It is the responsibility of the NRAS approved participant (or owner of the NRAS incentive) to supply information and reporting to the Department of Social Services.


Urban Choices has a proven record of compliance and reporting and with our internal compliance systems you can be rest assured your property is being professionally managed. 

More investment information can be found here:

Department of Social Services Official NRAS resource page

Department of Human Services Housing Page  |  NRAS explained

Australian Tax Office NRAS  |  Refundable tax offset and other taxation issues

Quantum Investor Property Investment Partner  |  NRAS information for investors

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