Community housing providers are set to be given a leg up as the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) announces the upcoming launch of its $1.5 million grant program to help community housing providers.
The Capacity Building Program will provide easier access to NHFIC specific financing, which it hopes will support the delivery of additional social and affordable rental homes across the country.
Funded by the 2017-18 Federal Budget, the program is part of a broader package helping Australia’s Community Housing Providers grow in scale. Eligible providers will have the opportunity to access grants of up to $20,000 for professional advisory services to help them with the upfront finance and business planning work required to support a NHFIC loan application.
Applications for the grant are now open to be received.
“In the less than 12 months since commencing operations, NHFIC has made rapid progress and achieved tremendous early success in helping expand and accelerate the delivery of more social and affordable housing in Australia,” said Nathan Dal Bon, NHFIC’s CEO.
“By providing a grant program that funds professional advisory services we aim to strengthen the ability of CHPs to access NHFIC’s lower cost, longer tenor finance and unlock more housing supply.”
The Community Housing Industry Association Limited (CHIA) will administer the Capacity Building Program on NHFIC’s behalf.
“There are many smaller specialist and regionally based community housing organisations that have potential projects that will deliver great benefits to their tenants and communities,” CHIA CEO Wendy Hayhurst said.
“Being able to get upfront advice to help prepare the proposal could turn the idea into reality.”
CHIA Chair Michael Lennon welcomed the program stating that the timing was right for the rapidly growing community housing sector.
“There’s huge unmet demand for affordable housing in Australia, and NHFIC’s social bond-funded loans are cutting-edge by world standards,” Mr Lennon said.