Saturday, 29 June 2013

QLD NRAS Round 5, for projects to be delivered in 2015-16, opened on 7 May and will close on 6 August 2013.

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National Rental Affordability Scheme

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is an Australian Government initiative and is financially supported by the Queensland Government. The scheme aims to stimulate the construction of 50,000 affordable, high quality rental dwellings across Australia.

Established in July 2008, the scheme provides financial incentives for investors to purchase new affordable housing that must be rented at a minimum of 20% below the market valuation.
Up to 40,000 will be supported nationally to June 2014, with a further 10,000 dwellings to be supported in 2015-16.
On 28 March 2013, the Australian Government announced two new funding rounds for NRAS:
A Shovel Ready Round for projects to be substantially completed by 30 June 2014 and tenanted by December 2014, opened on 18 April and closed on 22 May 2013.

Round 5, for projects to be delivered in 2015-16, opened on 7 May and will close on 6 August 2013.
For information about Queensland's participation in round 5, see our Round 5 page.

In Queensland, eligible tenants must first be registered with the Department of Housing and Public Works (Housing Services). Applications for renting NRAS properties are made through approved NRAS tenancy managers, who select and manage tenancies and the properties built under the scheme.
Information for Prospective TenantsInformation for InvestorsInformation for Tenancy Managers

NRAS - Round 5
For more detailed information about the Scheme, including regulations and compliance, and program guidelines visit the Australian Government's Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs National Rental Affordability Scheme website.

Do a rent to buy with a person in a DOH house , here is how and why you can

Buying your rental home

The advantage of buying a home is that you are acquiring an asset, which could provide security for your future. However, owning a home is different from renting, as you have to pay rates, maintenance and insurance as well as loan repayments. These costs could be more than the ones you have when you are renting.

Buying a property owned by the Department of Housing and Public Works

The department is encouraging its tenants to become home owners.
Through its 'Sales to Tenants' program, departmental tenants have the opportunity to make the transition from social rental housing to home ownership by purchasing the department-owned dwelling they rent.
The following information provides a guide for tenants considering the purchase of their rental property and outlines some of the major issues to consider before making such a decision.

Can I buy the property I am renting?

Some rental properties are not for sale. Properties that generally are not for sale include:
  • those in high-demand areas, especially inner city suburbs;
  • those on sites with future redevelopment potential;
  • townhouses, units, duplexes and cluster houses;
  • houses which are less than 10 years old; and
  • houses that have been modified or adapted to meet the needs of people with a disability.
You may be able to buy the property you are renting if you meet the following conditions. You, and any other person making the application with you, must:
  • not own any other house in Queensland or elsewhere (except in the circumstance approved by the Director-General of the department);
  • intend to use the house as your home and for no other purpose;
  • be the legal lessee of the property;
  • pay an administration fee when lodging the Application to Purchase;
  • be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency;
  • have lived in your rental property for at least three months; and
  • have a good rent payment record with no outstanding arrears.

How do I find out the purchase price of the property I am renting?

The department does not keep a record of sale prices for its rental properties. You will need to lodge an application and pay an administration fee.
The administration fee will be fully refunded if the department assesses the property and decides it is not available for sale.
It will then take up to two weeks to determine if the property is available to be purchased.
The department will have the property inspected by an independent valuer to determine a fair market value and may have QBuild conduct a building inspection for the department's purposes only.
The department will notify you in writing when a sale price is established.
You will have one month to accept the department's offer to purchase the property.

Shop around for your loan before deciding to buy

Interest rates and the types of housing finance available change regularly. When considering buying a home, it is important that you look at a wide range of loan options. The financial package you choose should suit your circumstances and not cause financial hardship.


If you are borrowing money for the purchase of your rental property, your lender will usually require you to have a savings history and to contribute a sum of money (a deposit) towards the purchase price.
The amount of deposit will depend on elements like the price of the home, the amount you can borrow and where you obtain your finance. Most financial institutions will ask you to pay a deposit of between 5% and 20% of the purchase price.
For information on the department's lending programs call the Information Hotline on 1300 654 322.

Will improvements to the property or the rent I have paid affect the sale price?

Major improvements you have done such as carports and extensions that have received the deparment's approval, as well as local government building approval, will be considered when determining the sale price. The department's guidelines allow a maximum of $5,000 for improvements. The valuer will assess the value of the improvements and this value will be deducted from the sale price of the property.
It is important to remember that any amount of money you spend on improvements may not necessarily increase the value of the property.
No allowance will be made for previous rent paid.

What if I want to keep renting after I have applied?

Some people find they are financially better off renting. You need to decide the best option for your circumstances.
You are under no obligation to buy your current rental property. If you choose not to purchase, your rental agreement with the department will continue as usual.
A printable version of the above information is available by downloading the Sales to Tenants (PDF, 36 KB) (RTF, 37 KB) brochure.

Defence housing sell-off in the works NT

Defence housing sell-off in the works

The Department of Defence will sell up to 40 houses in Alice Springs over the next few years as they prepare to move Pine Gap staff into new housing.
The Commonwealth Department of Defence has called for tenders for the sale of 30 - 40 houses it co-owns with the US defence facility near Alice Springs.
The sales will be staggered over the next two financial years and sold on the open market at full market value.
The Southern Delegate of the Real Estate Inistitute of NT (REINT), Andrew Doyle, says new units are currently being constructed for Pine Gap staff at the Mt Johns Valley subdivision.
"There are 40 new units that have started construction at Mt Johns, so I assume it's just part of their process," he says.
"They sold off about ten houses last year with very little fanfare and I think they're just going through a process of reducing their older stock..."
Mr Doyle says the houses have attracted high interest when sold in the past.
"Back in the mid-2000s I think we auctioned off 15 or so," he says.
"They have a very strong maintenance program with all of their older houses and a number of them that have been sold off in the past have been sold off in very good condition," he says.
Defence houses are located in areas including Sadadeen, New Eastside and Gillen.
Mr Doyle says he doesn't anticipate the sales will have a significant effect on the market.
"We've never seen any negative impact on our market through the release of their property."
(Interview with Andrew Doyle featured on Drive with Rohan Barwick)
Plans for a residential complex for Pine Gap staff at Mt Johns (Alice Springs News Online, July 2012
Plans for a residential complex for Pine Gap staff at Mt Johns (Alice Springs News Online, July 2012) (courtesy Alice Springs News Online)

Sold by DOH

Sold more DOH
The Department of Housing is starting to sell off prime property, be on the look out,
you could snatch up a bargain.

Anger at Glebe housing proposal

PUBLIC housing residents have been moved out and demolition works started this week on a Glebe housing estate, but Housing NSW has not lodged a development application for the buildings that will replace it.
Critics of the planned Glebe Project say it shows ''a deplorable lack of planning'' given so many are on housing waiting lists; and argue that the proposed $170 million redevelopment will result in a net gain of only 19 public housing units.
The state government sold public houses in Millers Point to help fund the planned project and part of the site will be privatised in the development.
Housing NSW has defended its actions, saying ''the Glebe Project is an exciting, rigorously researched, cutting-edge model of mixed tenure housing development'' which will supply more public and private dwellings in inner Sydney.

 The existing estate bound by Cowper, Queen, Wentworth and Bay streets has 134 public housing dwellings. The redevelopment proposal is for 153 public housing units, 250 private units and 90 affordable housing units (rent-capped housing which will be run by community providers).
But the new public housing units are almost all one-bedrooms, while the existing stock is mostly two to three bedrooms, resulting in a net loss of public housing space.
Pastor Julie Brackenreg, from the Hope Street Glebe Community Church, said it was absurd to put vulnerable people through the stress of being relocated before there was a plan in place.
''They could be housing people I would estimate for at least another two years, the way things move or don't move, if they hadn't started knocking it down,'' she said.
The Greens MP Jamie Parker said: ''The site is likely to sit empty for years … With over 40,000 people on the public housing waiting list it shows a deplorable lack of planning to evict tenants and demolish public housing without having a pre-approved development application for the replacement housing.''
Dennis Dougherty, from community group Hands off Glebe, said the loss of public housing space amounted to ''social cleansing'' of the suburb.
But Housing NSW said the development has been specifically designed to meet future needs which project growth in aged, single people needing affordable housing in the inner city.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Land Tax

Land tax

What is land tax?

Land tax is a tax levied on the owners of land in NSW as at midnight on 31 December of each year. In general, your principal place of residence (your home) or land used for primary production (a farm) is exempt from land tax. You may be liable for land tax if you own or part-own:
  • vacant land, including vacant rural land
  • land where a house, residential unit or flat has been built
  • a holiday home
  • investment properties
  • company title units
  • residential, commercial or industrial units, including car spaces
  • commercial properties, including factories, shops and warehouses
  • land leased from state or local government.

Rates and thresholds

2013: The Valuer General has determined that the land tax threshold for the 2013 land tax year is $406,000. The premium land tax threshold for the 2013 land tax year is $2,482,000.
2012: The Valuer General has determined that the land tax threshold for the 2012 land tax year is $396,000. The premium land tax threshold for the 2012 land tax year is $2,421,000.
2011: The Valuer General has determined that the land tax threshold for the 2011 land tax year is $387,000. The premium land tax threshold for the 2011 land tax year is $2,366,000.

Land tax section 12 notice for 2013 published

The notice specifying requirements for the lodgement of land tax returns for the 2013 land tax year has been published in the NSW Government Gazette of 7 December 2012, page 4964.