Question No. 717
Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, in writing, on 29 June 2011:
With reference to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS):
(1) In regard to NRAS Round 3 which called for applications with 1 000 plus incentives, and reports during the 2011-12 Budget estimates hearings of the Environment and Communication Legislation Committee (the 2011-12 Budget estimates hearings) that it ‘took an average of eight weeks to complete assessment for those applications':
(a) how many applications were received;
(b) what was the average time taken to complete the assessment of those applications;
(c) what was the longest period of time taken for the applications; and
(d) can a table be provided listing the successful applications by name of applicant, description of project (number of studio, 1, 2, 3, and 4+ beds) and the location (suburb and state/territory).
(2) In regard to the NRAS Round 4 which closed in December 2010, and reports during the 2011-12 Budget estimates hearings that most applications were received on 14 December 2010, with offers made on 1 800 incentives but the assessment of 15 000 applications for 52 000 incentives still outstanding:
(a) how many applications were received for Round 4;
(b) how many offers have been made to date;
(c) given that NRAS regulations stipulate incentives will be assessed and offers made within 6 months, how many applicants will receive notification outside this time limit; and
(d) of the successful applications made, can a table be provided listing the name and description of project (number of studio, 1, 2, 3, and 4+ beds) and location (suburb and state/territory).
(3) In regard to NRAS Round 5 which is yet to be announced:
(a) is there an indicative timeframe for when Round 5 will be announced, and for how many incentives; and
(b) are any particular themes or strands (such as student housing, large developments) being considered for Round 5.
(4) How is the strand for each NRAS round decided.
Senator Conroy: The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has provided the following answer to the honourable Senator's question:
(b) An application can only be assessed once all supporting information is provided by the applicant. Under Round Three of the Scheme it took on average 8 to 10 weeks to assess a fully compliant application.
(c) The longest time taken to complete the assessment of a Round Three application deemed fully compliant was 34 weeks.
Factors contributing to delays in the assessment of this application included that:
• the application was for incentives across three jurisdictions which increased the assessment complexity; and
• two state governments requested additional information from the applicant during the assessment period to confirm the financing arrangements for a number of projects and to support assumptions used in the financial viability risk assessment.
For this application, the applicant received a partial offer of Incentives on 22 December 2010 (at 25 weeks) prior to the final offer being made on 28 February 2011.
(d) Table of successful applicants under Round Three can be found at Attachment A.
(b) 3,726 Incentives have been offered as at 12 July 2011.
(c) 201 applicants have been notified as to the status of their application where a decision has not been made within six months of the date the application was received.
(d) Table of successful applicants under Round Four can be found at Attachment B. Note: While all offers made to successful applicants are included in this table, not all successful applicants have accepted the offer made to them as at 13 July 2011.
(3) There has been no decision on any further call for applications.
(4) The Minister determines the parameters for each call for applications based on advice from the Department, and in consultation with states and territories and other stakeholders. Assessment criteria must be prescribed by Schedule One of the National Rental Affordability Scheme Regulations 2008.
(Attachments are in attached document, see below)