In a joint statement released by Treasurer Scott Morrison and Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar on Wednesday (20 June), the federal government has appointed Brendan Crotty as the inaugural chair of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).
Mr Crotty currently serves as director of Brickworks Limited, General Property Trust and Dennis Family Holdings, and he has previously served as chairman of Western Sydney Parklands Trust for nine years to the end of 2017.
Mr Crotty has also served as managing director of Australand Property Group from 1990 to 2007 and has been a director of a number of property, construction and technology companies.
The NHFIC was established to perform two functions:
- Operate the National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF), a $1 billion facility that would finance “critical housing-related infrastructure” to speed up the planning process to increase housing supply through the provision of loans and grants and investments.
- Operate an affordable housing bond aggregator, which will provide low-cost, longer-term finance to registered community housing providers.
Further, the NHFIC’s operations will be overseen by an independent, “skills-based” board that will serve terms of up to five years.
The government-appointed board will comprise of members with experience across a range of disciplines, including banking and finance, law, housing, infrastructure planning and financing, local government and public policy.
The government has claimed that the board’s independence has been “enshrined” in the legislation through a provision that requires all financing and investment decisions to be made by the board.
Moreover, bonds issued by the NHFIC through the bond aggregator will be government-backed by a legislative guarantee to “drive the best price outcomes for consumers”.
“These important measures, announced as part of the comprehensive housing affordability plan in the 2017–18 budget, continue the work of the Turnbull government to ensure Australians have more opportunities to own their own home or access more affordable rental accommodation,” the government’s statement read.
The government noted that it would soon announce further board appointments.