CHL Group Awarded $400m Social Housing Fund


The federal government's National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has awarded affordable housing provider CHL Group a newly established Victorian ground-lease housing contract.

The $400-million funding is to deliver, operate and maintain at least 1100 new homes, including social, affordable, specialist disability accommodation and private rental dwellings.

This will breakdown as 365 build-to-rent units, 619 social homes, 126 affordable homes and 52 specialist disability housing units across three metropolitan Melbourne housing projects on vacant Homes Victoria land in Brighton, Flemington and Prahran.

CHL managing director Steve Bevington said the provider would invest $75 million for its 15 per cent stake in the project and expected to recoup that equity within about the first 12 years of the 40-year lease period

“We have had a successful partnership with NHFIC since its inception,” Bevington said.

“This funding in particular is game changing, enabling CHL to accelerate the delivery of large-scale new social and affordable housing for hundreds of Victorians in a model that is replicable for the renewal of public housing nationally.”

Housing minister Michael Sukkar said the funds would bring the state’s commitment to supporting the delivery of more social and affordable housing to $720 million through the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA) and $90 million through the National Housing Infrastructure Facility.

“This is a complex project and the expertise of the NHFIC team from the start was key to accelerating the delivery of at least 1100 new homes, while ensuring that the deal delivered more than $50 million in savings over the life of the project to CHL,” Sukkar said

The deal will be NHFIC’s largest transaction to date and includes approximately $51 million of financing from NHIF to accelerate critical infrastructure development for these projects.

Last week the federal budget detailed that the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement would be maintained at $1.6 billion with states and territories.

The funds, which have been criticised by industry experts, provide ongoing housing subsidies, such as Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and preserves the status quo of tax incentives for housing investors and homeowners.

At the centre of Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s response to the federal budget was a promise to establish a $10-billion future fund to build 30,000 low-cost houses, including 10,000 affordable dwellings for frontline workers.

With house prices soaring in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, housing affordability is again a central political issue and Labor’s policy aims to make it a key component of the election campaign.

During the first five years of the fund, Labor estimated that $200 million would go to the repair and maintenance of housing in remote Indigenous communities, $100 million for crisis housing and $30 million for housing homeless veterans.


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