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Affordable accommodation for students

The Gillard Government continues to help make Canberra an attractive place to live and study by investing in affordable accommodation for future University of Canberra students. This is a project I lobbied for as the local Federal Member of Parliament because I know how important affordable student accommodation is for the entire community. It frees up other rental accommodation in nearby suburbs and is a key part of maintaining a good housing mix in Canberra’s north.

There are three numbers you need to know about federal investment in affordable housing through the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). But to keep it simple, each number is 20.

  • Since 2007, NRAS and other federal programs have contributed to construction of 1 in 20 new homes.
  • NRAS homes must rent for at least 20% below market rates.
  • 1 in 20 NRAS homes have been in Canberra (despite the fact that only 1 in 60 Australians live here, we have bigger challenges of housing affordability).

It was a noisy sod-turning with University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker needing to drill through the concrete so that the Chief Minister and I had something to turn.

My media release is below.

With ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher MLA and UC Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker

Turning the first sod at UC

MEDIA RELEASE

Andrew Leigh MP

Member for Fraser

18 October 2012

Affordable homes for future University of Canberra students

The Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, today with Chief Minister Katy Gallagher turned the sod for a new development which will provide more affordable rental accommodation for more than 400 University of Canberra students.

Dr Leigh said the 297 homes are supported under the Australian Government’s $4.5 billion National Rental Affordability Scheme, in partnership with the ACT Government.

“The Gillard Government is making it easier for students and young people to find affordable accommodation near to where they work and study,” Dr Leigh said.

“Canberra is an attractive place for students and each year we see many new faces moving to our city to take up the excellent opportunities available here.

“Through the Student Accommodation Project, eligible young people can rent an apartment on campus at a discounted rate of at least 20 per cent below market rates.

“This will free up rental properties around Bruce, benefiting the whole community.

“The University of Canberra is delivering a total of 1,000 new affordable rental homes through the National Rental Affordability Scheme.”

Dr Leigh said the Gillard Government is committed to addressing housing affordability and has invested $20 billion to help people with home ownership and affordable rental housing, and to tackle homelessness.

“This Government has directly contributed to the construction of one in every 20 new homes since coming to office through programs such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

“Delivered in partnership with state and territory governments, the scheme supports the supply of 50,000 new more affordable rental properties across Australia, including more than 2,600 homes in the ACT.

“The Scheme provides annual financial incentive payments to business sector and community organisations to build and rent new homes at a minimum 20 per cent below market rate.

“This supports the delivery of more affordable private rental housing, encourages private investment in innovative affordable housing and allows eligible households to save thousands of dollars in rent each year.”

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