Developer applications commence to access $1 billion federal fund

Developer applications commence to access $1 billion federal fund


July 2018
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Developer applications commence to access $1 billion federal fund

A federal government infrastructure fund to the value of $1 billion is now available to developers, in an effort to reduce pressure on housing affordability.

Brenden Crotty, director of GPT Group and Brickworks, was appointed chairman of the body that will govern the fund last month. Legislation to establish the body, revealed as the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), passed last week. The other board members are yet to be announced.

The NHFIC will be responsible for administering the $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility to invest in critical infrastructure to release new housing supply. They will also operate an affordable housing bond aggregator aimed at providing lower-cost and longer-term finance for private and institutional housing providers. 

Nicola Lemon, chair of industry association PowerHousing Australia, said establishing the corporation was “monumental step” towards meeting social and affordable housing challenges.

“There will be community housing providers with shovel-ready projects that will now be able to access some of the lowest-cost finance, which will greatly assist them to provide affordable housing options to growing numbers of Australians,” Ms Lemon said.

The high costs of building critical infrastructure such as roads and water networks, faced by local governments, can delay the commencement of developments and slow the supply of new homes. The federal budget recognises that early investment is critical to speeding up this supply.

$1 billion will be provided over five years to support local governments in financing critical infrastructure such as transport links, power and water infrastructure and site remediation works. While local governments will primarily assist the flow of social housing requirements, market based supply issues will also be alleviated by the fund.

The acceptance of proposals for housing projects commenced on Tuesday, but it is expected to be at least a month before applications begin being assessed, and until next year before the first approvals are received from the NHFIC.

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