NHFIC was established under the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Act 2018 (NHFIC Act) and is defined as a corporate Commonwealth entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. NHFIC is part of the Treasury portfolio of agencies and reports to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing (the responsible Minister).
NHFIC is a key part of the Australian Government’s Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability plan, announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget. This plan aims to make a positive difference to Australians from across the housing spectrum – from those struggling to put a roof over their head and those in affordable housing, to private renters and first home buyers.
NHFIC’s purpose is to improve housing outcomes for Australians by contributing to efforts to increase the supply of housing, particularly affordable housing. We aim to achieve our purpose by:
Strengthening efforts to increase the supply of housing
Encouraging investment in housing, particularly in the social or affordable housing sector
Providing finance, grants or investments that complement, leverage or support Commonwealth, state or territory activities that relate to housing
Contributing to the development of the scale, efficiency and effectiveness of the community housing sector in Australia.
Australia is facing a shortage of affordable housing for both purchase and rental, particularly for lower to middle income households. The number of Australians experiencing homelessness increased by 14 per cent from 2011 to 2016, to an estimated 116,000.1
The reduced housing affordability has led to an increased percentage of the country’s population seeking social housing. However, the supply of social housing stock has not been able to keep up with the country’s growing population, and as many as 206,0002 households are waiting for access to social housing units.
Community housing providers (CHPs) are an important part of the Australian housing system, providing accommodation services for people in social and affordable housing. There are currently over 350 mainstream registered CHPs across Australia and one of the biggest challenges they face is the funding gap, meaning the difference between revenue gained from sub-market rents and costs of providing social and affordable housing. NHFIC can assist to take some of the funding pressure off CHPs.
NHFIC offers loans, investments and grants to encourage investment in housing, with a particular focus on affordable housing. This includes providing finance to eligible housing-enabling projects. We can help important housing projects go ahead— strengthening housing supply, improving access to cheaper and longer-term loans for CHPs and supporting affordable housing.
NHFIC operates the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA) to provide loans to registered CHPs financed by the issue of bonds on the commercial market; and the National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF) to provide loans, grants and equity finance to overcome impediments to the provision of housing that is due to a lack of necessary infrastructure. We also provide grants for capacity building services to assist tier 2 and 3 CHPs with applications for NHFIC finance.
NHFIC was established by the Australian Government under the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Act 2018 (NHFIC Act).
The NHFIC Act:
Provides the NHFIC Board with statutory responsibility for deciding the NHFIC strategies and policies, and ensuring the proper, efficient and effective performance of NHFIC’s functions. The Board makes its investment decisions independently of government
Provides for the appointment of the NHFIC Chief Executive Officer, who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of NHFIC, subject to (and in accordance with) the policies determined by the Board
Requires the NHFIC Board to ensure that NHFIC maintains commercially sound and sufficient levels of capital and reserves
Provides for NHFIC to borrow money (supported by a Commonwealth guarantee)