Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Page: 6300

National Rental Affordability Scheme

(Question No. 718)


Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, in writing, on 29 June 2011:

In regard to student housing and the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS):

(1) What is the current estimated housing gap for Australian students.

(2) Which agency at the Federal Government level is currently tasked with measuring current housing need for students.

(3) Can a list be provided of all Federal Government programs currently providing funding or other resources (such as policy advice) in the area of student housing.

(4) Can a table be provided listing: the number of full time and part time students by state and territory, the number of student housing dwellings provided on campus by state and territory, and the estimated student housing gap for each state and territory.

(5) To date, how many applications have been submitted to NRAS for student housing since the program began.

(6) To date, how many NRAS incentives have been approved for student housing since the program began.

(7) Can a table be provided of student housing approved by NRAS with the following information for each NRAS Round:

(a) total number of applications for student housing;

(b) total number of projects approved for student housing or with a student housing component; and

(c) a description of each approved project, including applicant/name of institution, type of project, location (suburb and state or territory), number of student dwellings and, if relevant, the number of other dwellings as part of the project.


Senator Conroy: The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1) The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) do not collect data on student accommodation and reliable figures are difficult to obtain. A 2010 survey by Universities Australia found that 34 of Australia’s 39 universities formally provide accommodation for students and that universities provide a total of 42,620 beds.

(2) A number of agencies are involved in assessing the appropriateness of housing across the spectrum of tenure options, including the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and DSEWPaC. For example, DSEWPaC supports the National Housing Supply Council to prepare the annual State of Supply Report. DSEWPaC and DEEWR do not collect data on current housing needs for students. Demand for student housing may be monitored either by universities or by the private sector, often in collaboration with tertiary education providers.

(3) The National Rental Affordability Scheme which supports the development of affordable rental accommodation for low to moderate income households, is managed by DSEWPaC. DEEWR provides capital works support through the Commonwealth Grant Scheme and higher education infrastructure programs. However, these programs are not specifically targeted towards student accommodation. DEEWR infrastructure programs include:

Education Investment Fund;

one-off Teaching and Learning Capital Fund (Higher Education);

one-off Better Universities Renewal Fund; and

Capital Development Pool.

A list of programs and the alignment of their objectives with the development of student accommodation is at Table 1.

Table 1: Sources of Australian Government Capital Funding for Student Accommodation

PROGRAM

ABOUT

ALIGNMENT WITH STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

Education Investment Fund (EIF)

The EIF funds projects that create or develop significant infrastructure in higher education institutions, research institutions and VET providers.

The EIF prioritises funding for teaching and research infrastructure. Student accommodation developments have only been supported where it has been demonstrated that the accommodation is integral to projects fully delivering the intended outcomes.

Teaching and Learning Capital Fund (TLC)

 

 

Better Universities Renewal Fund (BURF)

The one-off BURF and the TLC are designed to renew ageing university infrastructure and provide an educational experience appropriate for the 21 century.

While some universities directed a small portion of their allocations towards student accommodation projects, BURF and TLC funds have largely been used to support teaching and research infrastructure, ICT developments and infrastructure associated with student amenities.

 

 

 

Capital Development Pool (CDP)

The CDP provides special funding assistance to higher education providers for capital infrastructure needs over and above those that could be expected to be funded from their other sources of funding.

Although funding for student accommodation is potentially available under the CDP, the vast majority of CDP funds have been applied directly to teaching and learning infrastructure including ICT. The CDP will cease from 1 January 2012.

(4) As noted above, the Commonwealth does not currently collect data on student accommodation. A summary of full and part time students by state and territory is at Table 2.

Table 2 Number of Full time and part-time students by state and territory (2009 student data).

 

INTERNAL

 

 

EXTERNAL

 

 

MULTI MODAL

 

 

 

FULL-TIME

PART-TIME

SUB-TOTAL

FULL-TIME

PART-TIME

SUB-TOTAL

FULL-TIME

PART-TIME

SUB-TOTAL

New South Wales

209,353

68,146

277,499

9,597

47,304

56,901

16,240

4,284

20,524

Victoria

204,646

53,826

258,472

3,127

17,210

20,337

12,575

2,934

15,509

Queensland

125,332

30,347

155,679

9,219

26,819

36,038

10,219

3,287

13,506

Western Australia

80,248

23,492

103,740

1,902

8,244

10,146

5,025

2,168

7,193

South Australia

48,344

16,647

64,991

1,657

6,174

7,831

4,891

1,474

6,365

Tasmania

11,814

4,600

16,414

452

2,298

2,750

1,997

522

2,519

Northern Territory

1,029

770

1,799

1,313

2,464

3,777

1,497

612

2,109

Australian Capital Territory

18,145

8,658

26,803

10

64

74

2,328

894

3,222

Multistate Institutions

13,007

6,188

19,195

427

907

1,334

58

81

139

TOTAL

711,918

212,674

924,592

27,704

111,484

139,188

54,830

16,256

71,086

(5) To date, 31 applications for NRAS Incentives have been received from universities or educational institutions since the commencement of the program on 1 July 2008.

(6) As at 20 June 2011, 2,681 incentives have been offered and accepted by universities or other educational institutions with 467 dwellings delivered.

(7) (a) (b) (c) Noting the answer to question 5, the table below provides information about each supported application where the applicant is a university or other educational institution.

Round

Applicant

State

Suburb

Dwelling Type

Incentives Allocated (Tenanted or available for rent)

Incentives Reserved (Not yet delivered)

Total

2

Monash University

VIC

Clayton

Studio Apartments

 

600

600

 

Holmesglen Institute of TAFE

VIC

Glen Waverley

1 Bd Apartments

 

59

59

Total

 

 

 

 

 

659

659

3

Australian National University

ACT

Canberra City

Studio and 1, 2, 3 & 5 Bd Apartments

467

555

1,022

 

UWA Accommodation Services Pty Ltd

WA

Crawley, Nedlands, Claremont

Studio Apartments

 

1,000

1,000

Total

 

 

 

 

467

1,555

2,022

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(to date)

University of Ballarat

VIC

Mount Helen, Ballarat

Studio Apartments

 

200

200

Total

 

 

 

 

 

200

200

*There were no specifically identified or other educational institution applications in Round 1.

Building Better Regional Cities program

(Question No. 721)


Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, upon notice, on 29 June 2011:

Given that the 2011-12 Budget provided $100 million in funding for the new Building Better Regional Cities program for ‘local housing infrastructure projects that will help build more affordable homes in high growth regional cities over the next three years’ and that 47 regional cities, with populations over 30 000, have been invited to participate in the program.

(1)   With reference to the program’s website which states ‘funding will only be awarded to cities that provide robust evidence of future jobs growth and can show how many extra affordable homes will be created as a result of the proposed projects’:

   (a)   how will applicants be required to quantify and define the ‘extra affordable homes’ they will deliver, if successful in the application process;

   (b)   in relation to the specific delivery of extra affordable homes, what criteria will be used to assess applications; and

   (c)   how will ‘extra affordable homes’ be measured and reported on as part of this program.

(2)   Will any type of formal housing needs analysis be required from the regional cities as part of their application process.

(3)   Will all forms of tenure, that is, affordable home ownership, affordable rental and social rental, be included in this scheme.

(4)   What are the program targets for housing under each of the following bands identified by the National Affordable Housing Summit:

   (a)   Band A (rent is kept under 25 per cent of tenants’ income);

   (b)   Band B (rent is 20 per cent less than the market rate for at least 10 years); and

   (c)   Band C (home purchase programs for low to moderate incomes).

(5)   Can an outline be provided of the resources allocated to administering this program and the qualifications of staff in the relation to housing affordability.

(6)   With reference to the program’s website which states that ‘Councils will be able to use program funding to invest in local infrastructure projects that support new housing developments, including connecting roads, extensions to drains and sewers, and community infrastructure such as parks and community centres’: can an outline be provided as to why funds should be provided for roads, drains, parks and community centres, when typically these are the responsibility of the developer to provide.


Senator Conroy: The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   The final Program Guidelines for the Building Better Regional Cities program are being developed in consultation with stakeholders and will include information on performance measures, assessment and program delivery requirements.

(2)   The draft Program Guidelines and draft Application Form for the program currently include a requirement for applicants to undertake a housing needs analysis (under Criterion 1 ‘Economic Growth and Housing Need’). However, as noted above, the requirements will be confirmed and included in the final Program Guidelines.

(3)   Affordable home ownership and affordable rental for low and moderate income earners is included under the Building Better Regional Cities program, but social housing is not, as the Australian Government seeks to address this policy area through other measures.

(4)   To ensure that the program is responsive to localised needs, the draft Program Guidelines do not specify a single affordability target, and instead place the onus on applicants to identify the most relevant definitions and targets for their region and/or state or territory

(5)   The Building Better Regional Cities program currently has the following funding profile:

Financial Year

Administered ($m)

Departmental ($m)

2010-11

-

0.24

2011-12

30.0

0.933

2012-13

35.0

0.937

2013-14

35.0

0.940

Total

100.0

3.050

Staff in this division of the department are experienced public servants selected for their skills and experience in designing and delivering programs, including housing affordability programs.

(6)   The Australian Government recognises that the provision of local infrastructure such as roads, drainage and sewers contributes to the initial and long term affordability of housing. These costs are often passed on to home buyers either through direct charges, an ongoing contribution via local rates or the purchase price of land and/or property packages.

Funding under the Building Better Regional Cities program will only be awarded to projects that can clearly show how the funding investment made by the Australian Government will result in an increase in the number of homes for sale and rent that are affordable for low to moderate income earners.