National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS)

What is the National Rental Affordability Scheme?

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is a Federal Government initiative that aims to:

  • Increase the supply of new and affordable housing
  • Reduce the rental costs for low and moderate income households
  • Encourage large-scale investment and innovative delivery of affordable housing

The Scheme has sought to address the shortage of affordable rental housing by offering financial incentives to persons or entities such as the business sector and community organisations to build and rent dwellings to low and moderate income households at a rate that is at least 20 per cent below the market value rent.

NRAS homes are not social housing — they are affordable private rental homes. NRAS tenants have the same obligations as all tenants under the relevant residential tenancy law in Queensland, in accordance with the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act.

More information about the Scheme is available on the Tenant Information page.

Australian Affordable Housing Securities Limited (AAHS) is one of the largest Approved Participants in delivering affordable rental housing for low to moderate income households under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

Please visit the AAHSL website here for more information.

Am I eligible to rent under the scheme?

To become a registered prospective tenant under the NRAS in Queensland, you must meet all of the requirements listed below.

  • You must be an Australian citizen – OR
    • have permanent residency
    • have Temporary Protection visa XA visa subclass 785
    • have Temporary Protection visa XC visa subclass 785
  • You must be a Queensland resident, or provide evidence of your need to move to Queensland.
  • You or your household members must not own or part-own property in Australia or overseas. This includes:
    • residential or commercial property,
    • land,
    • mobile homes or caravans that are permanently connected to utilities
  • Your money in bank accounts, shares and investments (including superannuation payouts) must not exceed
    • $118,437.50 for a single person, or
    • $151,250 for 2 or more household members.
  • You must be registered for NRAS (Apply Here) and provide your registration letter

Income levels above are assessed on the total income for a household, not individuals within the household. Your household’s combined annual gross income cannot exceed the initial income limit at the time of applying.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for a place to rent under the scheme.

The NRAS tenancy manager for a property will select which registered applicants are offered tenancies. The department has no involvement in the management of these tenancies.

An example of the income limits are as follows:

Household Initial Income Upper Income
One Adult $52,324 $65,405
Two Adults $72,341 $90,427
Three Adults $92,358 $115,448
Four Adults $112,375 $140,469
Sole Parent with One Child $72,391 $90,489
Sole Parent with Two Children $89,748 $112,185
Sole Parent with Three Children $107,105 $133,882
Couple with One Child $89,698 $112,123
Couple with Two Children $107,055 $133,819
Couple with Three Children $124,412 $155,515

Last updated: 27 May 2020

Eligibility for the NRAS is not a guarantee that you will be provided with housing. The NRAS Tenancy Managers are responsible for selecting which eligible applicants will rent NRAS properties once they receive proof of your identity and evidence of your household income.

Assessing Income

When assessing whether a household will be eligible to rent an approved dwelling, approved participants must determine the gross household income for the 12 months prior to the day on which the household would become tenants.

For NRAS purposes, a household is considered to be all persons who are tenants of the dwelling. All persons who ordinarily reside in a NRAS home must have their income included as a member of the household.

A household’s gross income for the 12 months prior to commencement of tenancy of an NRAS dwelling must be equal to or less than the relevant income limit for the household’s composition.

To provide some guidance, the following documents (though not an exhaustive list) may be used in assessing gross household income:

  • Last payslip if Year to Date (YTD) specified;
  • If no YTD specified, 6 payslips are required or a letter from the employer stating the normal wage or annual income;
  • Letters from employers – current and/or past;
  • Notices of assessment for annual tax returns;
  • Tax Assessment notice – or Group Certificate used to calculate the part of the year up to 30 June;
  • Copies of bank statements;
  • Statutory declaration;
  • Statements from Centrelink;
  • Centrelink statement and or letter;
  • Written evidence of overseas income, such as pensions; and/or
  • Statements that provide information about other sources of income.

Assessable Income

  • gross income from earnings, including fringe benefits. Note that the non-grossed up amount of a fringe benefit will be calculated as income;
  • net income from businesses, including farms;
  • family trust distributions or dividends from private company shares;
  • superannuation;
  • a periodic payment from an immediate relative, that is father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister;
  • deemed income from financial investments;
  • net income from rental property;
  • total net losses from rental property;
  • non-Australian pensions and income;
  • income from income stream products, such as annuities and allocated products;
  • Income support payments;
  • employment income salary sacrificed into superannuation (reportable superannuation contributions which include amounts voluntarily salary sacrificed to superannuation is included in gross income);
  • sacrificed to superannuation is included in gross income);
  • income from boarders and lodgers;
  • reportable superannuation contributions (salary sacrificed contributions);
  • any income from sources outside Australia;
  • a rent subsidy paid by the Commonwealth, a state or a territory;
  • Rent Assistance.