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NAB to provide $2bn for affordable housing

The major bank has pledged $2 billion in funding and services to assist not-for-profit affordable and specialist housing providers, including those who build crisis accommodation, disability housing and build-to-rent properties.

National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced it has made a $2 billion commitment to help not-for-profit organisations fund affordable housing projects and solutions across Australia. 

According to NAB chief customer officer corporate and institutional banking David Gall, NAB will focus on providing funding and financial services to not-for-profit groups and other organisations that build affordable and specialist housing, including crisis accommodation, community housing, disability housing, build-to-rent properties and sustainable developments.

The $2 billion investment will reportedly be used to:

  • Provide loans of up to $5 million to help crisis accommodation providers purchase properties, to accommodate people experiencing domestic and family violence and other vulnerable circumstances;
  • Provide lending and banking services to not-for-profit community housing providers, including creating new funding models that will give them more capital to build more homes;
  • Increase funding for developers of sustainable housing projects;
  • Develop policies for lending to disability housing providers so that NAB can fund the sector on a larger scale; and
  • Develop viable funding options for build-to-rent projects in Australia, drawing on the experience and skills of NAB’s London-based team who support the UK community housing market.

“Currently, there is a lack of long-term funding options for specialist housing provider, which is contributing to a shortage of appropriate accommodation and shelter for Australians in need,” Mr Gall said.

“This is a significant social issue – and we’re determined to help by funding more affordable and specialist homes and improving the capacity and financial maturity of the sector so that it can attract more investment.”

Bevan Warner, chief executive of Launch Housing, an organisation in the affordable housing sector, said more support is needed to help end homelessness and welcomed the announcement from NAB.

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“The community can end homelessness by working together, and NAB’s announcement is a big step in the right direction,” Mr Warner said.

“It gives organisations like ours the confidence to plan and bring projects forward to both corporate and government funders, to help the growing number of people who desperately need housing and support.”

Managing director of the Specialist Disability Accommodation Alliance, Melanie Southwell, said: “Additional capital like this is needed to ensure that approximately 28,000 Australians with very high disability support needs or extreme functional impairments have an appropriate and accessible place to call home.

“We need a diverse range of investors and lenders to achieve this.

“Seeing a big player like NAB step up to the challenge is brilliant, and we hope will in turn show others the way. 

“We look forward to working together to grow the sector and successfully meet the housing needs of people with disabilities.”

[Related: NAB to take additional $1.18bn remediation hit]

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