The Housing Affordability crisis in NSW is currently at a critical stand-point. Over half of low-income renters and purchasers are currently deemed to be in housing stress. The social housing waiting list currently numbers over 60,000 households.
Since the NSW Government house building investment was cut sharply in 1996, there has only been an increase of 10,000 additional dwellings added to the NSW housing supply. Taking into consideration the population rise since 1996, it is believed there is a current deficit of approximately 32,000 affordable homes.
NSW Community Housing Providers (CHPs) have responded to the call for innovative solutions to this growing affordability crisis. Through the NSW Premier’s Innovation Initiative, NSW CHPs have proposed a new $1 billion Investment Fund. Through this response, CHPs have demonstrated creative thinking and a pathway for CHPS to offer a continuum of housing options including crisis, social and key worker (affordable) housing.
It is proposed that the investment will be leveraged against other forms of finance and assets through delivery, in part, by tax-efficient community housing providers.
The aim of CHPs is to leverage the $1 billion Investment Fund through four key recommendations:
The Government should establish the infrastructure and legal framework for housing bonds. A partial government bond guarantee would reduce investment risk and further reduce the costs of finance Bond finance would part-fund new social and affordable housing, but seed equity in the form of assets or land would also be needed. Some of the Fund could be set aside to fund a revolving construction debt facility.
BlueCHP Limited has been actively involved in its response to the NSW Premier’ s Initiative in the hope that CHPs are able to continue to deliver housing throughout NSW for those most in need.