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The Rudd government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme was expensive, unfair, and poorly targeted. Of course NRAS could be done differently, but there are inherent problems with government schemes to subsidise the supply of affordable housing: they inevitably mean fewer funds are available to help other households in greater need.
In this presentation to the University of NSW Social Policy Conference in Sydney, Grattan’s Brendan Coates, Carmela Chivers, and Jessie Horder-Geraghty identify better ways for governments to help poorer Australians into housing: fund social housing directly; boost Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 40 per cent and index it to low-income rents; increase supply to make all housing cheaper; and strengthen tenancy laws to make renting more secure.