The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has awarded the first grant from its new Capacity Building Program to Westside Housing, a South Australian-based registered community housing provider (CHP).
Westside Housing provides homes to those at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness across metro-Adelaide and into the Adelaide Hills. They will use the $20,000 grant for business advisory services as a first step to strengthening their development capacity and enabling them to expand their housing offering to people in need.
Launched on 1 July 2019 and administered by the Community Housing Industry Association Limited (CHIA) the $1.5 million Capacity Building Program helps eligible CHPs with the upfront work required to support a NHFIC loan application. The grant covers professional advice on finance, business planning, property development and risk management.
NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon said the Capacity Building Program was an important tool to grow the impact of NHFIC’s funding.
“With this program and our broader financing NHFIC is providing innovative support to Tier 2 and 3 CHPs to help them grow their capacity to deliver moresocial and affordable homes,” Mr Dal Bon said.
“This inititive builds on the $45 million in finance already provided to two South Australian based CHPs.”
Westside Housing’s Chief Executive Officer Julie Blake welcomed the grant and the opportunities it would offer.
“We and our not-for-profit sector colleagues have provided excellent services to our customers for decades and partnerships like this with the Commonwealth Govertnment will build our capacity to deliver even more affordable housing for South Australians,” Ms Blake said.
“The NHFIC grant will be instrumental in providing a pathway through to securing finance that will enable us to accelerate our more than 30 projects in the pipeline.
“Without NHFIC’s support we simply would not be able to scale up in this way.”
CHIA CEO Wendy Hayhurst said the program was an important way to involve the full diversity of part Australia’s CHP industry in meeting the social and affordable housing challenge.
“NHFIC, through its long-term and inexpensive finance has already reduced borrowing costs to our industry enabling them to build more homes,” Ms Hayhurst said.
“In combination with government social and affordable housing programs these capacity grants and cheap finance will enable smaller CHPs to play their part in developing the affordable rental homes Australia needs.”
For more information on the Capacity Building Program visit https://www.communityhousing.com.au/nhfic-capacity-building-program/