Australian Unity Bankrolls Disability Housing in $40m Deal


Australian Unity has signed a $40-million agreement with GreenFort Capital to develop a disability housing portfolio across five sites in south-east Queensland.

The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding will deliver “high-quality” dwellings to address the lack of suitable rental accommodation for people living with disabilities.

It will take Australian Unity’s SDA Fund to more than $80 million in assets and projects after the initial capital raise of $40 million and SDA apartment acquisitions in Victoria since April last year.

Australian Unity general manager of social infrastructure Ryan Banting said the pandemic had emphasised the importance of all Australians having access to housing solutions that were responsive to their needs.

“The marker of a successful specialist disability accommodation is creating an interdependent mix of services and places for residents,” Banting said.

“Partnering with organisations such as GreenFort who have a strong capability and track record of developing property to deliver positive community-focused outcomes further supports this objective.”

The properties currently being acquired are three sites in Brisbane, one in the Moreton Bay region and one in Logan. They will include a mix of 59 apartments and townhouses and are due to start construction later this year with a completion date of end of 2022.

GreenFort will be responsible for site origination, design and development of the assets. GreenFort partner Adam Vaggelas said it would help address the “severe undersupply of rental accommodation” for people living with disability.

“There is a critical need for specialist accommodation which supports and empowers people with functional impairments,” he said.

“Our investment philosophy is centred on the creation of well-located, high-quality buildings specifically tailored to the needs of Australians living with disability.”

The SDA sector will be worth $700 million when it is fully funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australian Unity’s Ryan Banting said this growth was fuelling increasing investor interest, and they were forecasting a $5-billion asset class in the near future.

Australian Unity is launching its second equity raise for $35 million.

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