Families offered bargain rentals
IPSWICH families are flocking to take advantage of cut-price rental homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).
Not-for-profit Horizon Housing Company (HHC) is soon to oversee a further 170 houses approved in Ipswich.
HHC already operates 36 NRAS properties in the city including new three and four-bedroom homes at Redbank Plains.
Rents are priced from just $230 a week under the NRAS, a 25% reduction on market rent.
HHC chief executive Jason Cubit said the new homes were in good neighbourhoods.
"Each month we're rolling them out," he said.
"We've been flat out and never had any trouble renting them. It's been pretty busy."
Mr Cubit hoped the reduced rentals would push down rental prices across the board.
The NRAS is not designed to reduce the waiting list for public housing in Queensland.
"It's not a public housing target group - it's for lower income workers," Mr Cubit said.
HHC reached a major milestone last week after tenanting its 250th Queensland property under the NRAS.
Mr Cubit said the company had helped more than 300 families through its NRAS program, providing a "stepping stone" towards securing a market-priced rental property or buying a home.
"A number of our tenants have moved into NRAS accommodation in order to save money, with plans to move on to a market-priced rental property or to put down a deposit for a home - they see it as a pathway towards independence," he said.
Tenants can save more than $3500 a year through rental subsidies. To be eligible for NRAS, singles can earn up to $44,128 while a couple with three children can earn up to $104,913 a year.
"Most of our tenants work full-time and earn a moderate income, but just need a bit of extra help to get ahead," Mr Cubit said.