The federal government’s National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Bill 2018 has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The NHFIC was established to perform two functions:
- Operate the National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF), a $1 billion facility that will 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. 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”.
The government has said that its broad expectations of the NHFIC will be articulated in its revised Investment Mandate, which will be issued under the legislation.
Further, the federal government also recently announced the appointment of Brendan Crotty as the inaugural chair of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation.
Mr Crotty will chair a board, which the government has reiterated will be made up of independent, “skills-based” members that will oversee the NHFIC’s operations.
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.
The government added that the constitution of the board will be announced in the near future.