New evidence of the hijacking of Labor’s flagship social housing scheme has emerged, with the companies behind a major Sydney development tapping $80 million in taxpayer subsidies, reports The Australian.

The funding is being used to help build units for wealthy foreign students instead of building the low-income households the program was designed to assist.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that prominent universities had won thousands of grants under the National Rental Affordability Scheme. The educational institutions were filling hundreds of these government-sponsored units with international students, each of whom were paying fees to live there.

The reports have forced one of the developers of the housing project, National Shelter executive officer Adrian Pisarski, to demand the structure be changed to ensure it delivered truly affordable housing to those in need.

“As one of the people who thought up NRAS in the first place, the original intention was not (for it) to be used for international students,” Pisarski said in an interview. “The intention was to house low- to middle-income Australians.”

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