NHFIC infrastructure loan boosts the supply of social and affordable homes in Melbourne, Victoria
The construction of three social and affordable apartment housing projects is on track to soon deliver more than 200 homes in metropolitan Melbourne. This has been a collaboration between the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), Victorian community housing provider HousingFirst, City of Port Phillip (CoPP) and the Victorian State Government.
NHFIC has provided HousingFirst with $18 million in grants and loans for infrastructure works, through the National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF), to accelerate a program of work to deliver 316 social and affordable homes, including newly built apartments.
Spread across four project sites in Brighton East, St Kilda, and Balaclava, the developments will deliver much needed social and affordable housing for people on the Victoria Housing Register, including those living with a disability and for women over 55 years old at risk of homelessness.
Accommodation in Balaclava includes architect-designed one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for families on the Victoria Housing Register and some Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). In Brighton East, 69 aged-care units are currently being redeveloped into 152 self-contained apartments for people over 55 years old. And in St Kilda, a rooming house was redeveloped into 36 self-contained apartments, for women over 55 years old. The refurbishment includes a flexible communal area, with a HousingFirst office, providing a platform to encourage and create a supportive community. The remaining property in Balaclava is expected to deliver up to 82 apartments.
The first three projects have cost $90.4 million.
Federal Minister for Housing Julie Collins said: “Working together in partnerships like this to build more social and affordable homes are what we’re trying to achieve through our Housing Australia Future Fund which will help more vulnerable Victorians.”
State Minister for Housing, Colin Brooks said: “Addressing housing needs is a shared responsibility of all levels of government. I’m proud to be joined here today in Balaclava by HousingFirst, the City of Port Phillip and our Commonwealth colleagues to deliver this important project.”
NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon said: “We are pleased to support HousingFirst with concessional finance and grant funding through the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, to help unlock new housing supply.”
“NHFIC will continue to work collaboratively with states and territories to support more projects, delivering social and affordable housing for vulnerable individuals and families.”
Housing First CEO Haleh Homaei said: “If it takes a village to raise a family, then it takes Commonwealth, State and Local government to truly raise the thousands of community homes Australia will need over coming decades. These 316 homes are positive proof of all levels of government working together in conjunction with a community housing provider for the common good.”
The NHIF offers concessional loans, grants to help support critical housing-enabling infrastructure.
The Federal Government has introduced legislation to transition NHFIC into Housing Australia, with expanded responsibilities to support delivery of their Housing Policy agenda. The legislation includes renaming NHFIC as Housing Australia with primary responsibility for delivering 40,000 new social and affordable homes over 5 years from 2024. This comprises 30,000 homes to be delivered with funding contributions from the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) (20,000 social, 10,000 affordable) and 10,000 affordable homes under the National Housing Accord. These additional responsibilities are subject to the passage of the legislation. NHFIC will continue to deliver the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS), the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA) and the National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF, which was recently expanded as part of the Federal Government’s 2022 housing election commitments).