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Affordable rental initiative gives landlords tax deduction for discounted rents


  Melbourne renter Rebecca Shiels never expected the generosity of a landlord to help her get back on her feet.   As a newly single mother, she feared for her ability to find a suitable home for herself and her young boy, in a market in desperate need of more affordable properties.    “When I separated I had nothing and was living with family and just trying to get back on my feet and the idea of renting on my own was so appealing but on the financial side of it I couldn’t do,” she said.  “I have a little boy, and rentals that were in my financial capacity were not great for him, they didn’t feel safe.”   That was until she came across a two-bedroom apartment in Ormond, in Melbourne’s south-east, advertised for $300 a week — $250 below the market rate — with HomeGround Real Estate, a not-for-profit real estate agency opened in 2014.   “It’s been life-chang...