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New community housing program launched

The Commonwealth and NSW governments have partnered to launch a pilot program to “fast-track” the construction of community housing through the provision of low-cost credit.

The federal and NSW state governments have launched a Community Housing Renewal Program through the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), which has been set up to boost the supply of community housing projects (CHPs).

The pilot program is designed to capitalise on “innovative financing structures” by leveraging the strength of participants in the transaction process to “deliver renewable and scalable financing for the social and affordable housing sector”.

NSW-based CHPs will be eligible to participate either independently or in conjunction with other CHPs or non-CHP partners, and can access NHFIC and institutional subordinated debt issued by industry super fund Cbus. 

CHPs, which have now been invited to submit expressions of interest, are required to develop new social housing under a “build to rent” model on a “neighbourhood scale”.  

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Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar said the pilot program forms part of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation’s (NHFIC) work to address housing affordability issues.

“The Coalition government established NHFIC to deliver innovative programs to improve outcomes across the housing spectrum, and this pilot program is a further example of our commitment to helping Australians into a home of their own,” Minister Sukkar said.

“The pilot program gives CHPs the opportunity to build new social and affordable homes on state government-owned land, through access low-cost and long-term funding to manage the housing under build-to-rent long-term leases.”

“This pilot program complements, and is in addition to, the $1.2 billion in bonds NHFIC has issued through its Affordable Bond Aggregator, which has supported the delivery of more than 2,000 new and 6,300 existing homes built and managed by Australia’s CHPs.”

NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey added that the pilot program furthers the state government’s objective to enhance the supply of social housing by renewing ageing assets with high maintenance costs.

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“We’re not only building more new housing for those people who really need it, we’re also providing jobs and supporting the NSW economy at a critical time,” Minister Pavey said.

“We need more of this type of innovative thinking and collaboration that provides the best possible bang for our buck we can get. This model has the potential to inject hundreds of millions into the housing sector and ultimately the economy, which is essential during this difficult time.”

“Six sites in Sydney have been identified for the pilot program, with development approvals in place that will deliver around 96 new homes.

“Preparation for a second tranche of sites for release is already underway following the pilot, which will include around 300 homes in metropolitan and regional areas of NSW.”

[Related: NHFIC to fund $100m in affordable housing projects]

New community housing program launched
New community housing program launched
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