On Monday, the Northern Territory Government revealed its intent to provide a $3 million grant to not-for-profit organisation Venture Housing Company to establish a new private rental subsidy scheme ‘Rent Choice’.

Under Rent Choice, eligible key workers can source private rental housing and receive a maximum rental subsidy of $12,000 for up to 12 months - depending upon requirements such as income, household size and rental location.

Eligible key workers can access the Rent Choice scheme in the regions of Greater Darwin, Palmerston, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.

To be eligible for Rent Choice, key worker occupations include priority industries such as:

  • Health, Nursing and Human Services
  • Hospitality
  • Automotive
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Construction

Further, applicants must have an annual household income under the following threshold:

  • Single: $100,000
  • Couple: $122,100
  • Families: $144,300

Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing Kate Worden said the rental subsidy will assist low to medium income owners to be able to afford a rental property of their own, meaning they can continue working and sending their children to school without having to worry about needing to move again.

“Securing affordable homes that are ready to go will benefit our economy by attracting more workers to help industries grow and keep businesses ticking over and unlocking,” Minister Worden said.

CEO of Venture Housing Company Karen Walsh said Rent Choice was born out of the need to keep the Territory affordable for all Territorians, but especially key workers.

“Funded initiatives like this aim to ensure that access to affordable rental housing is not a barrier to businesses attracting key workers,” Ms Walsh said.

The scheme comes at a time when capital city rents have increased by an average of 9.4% over the year to March.

Managing Director of SQM Research Louis Christopher said current rent rises represent the largest increase since the 1970s, with major near-term ramifications for inflation.

“We can expect capital city rents to rise by over 10% in 2022," Mr Christopher said.

Image by Ivan Samkov via Pexels

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