NSW Govt Looks to Social Housing Impact Investment
27 January 2016 at 10:19 pm
The New South Wales Government has launched a new social housing program which will leverage the private sector to help create up to 23,000 homes and generate $22 billion in construction.
Minister for Social Housing, Brad Hazzard, said the 10 year plan aimed to deliver more housing, better opportunities for independence, and better services for vulnerable households.
“We are looking to the innovation of the private and non-government sectors to redevelop old public housing estates into mixed communities which will put thousands of people in social housing on a better path,” Hazzard said.
“The NSW Government is committed to reducing homelessness and breaking the cycle of disadvantage. Providing more social housing and ensuring the necessary support services are available for those in social housing is vitally important.”
The Future Directions in NSW Social Housing paper, which outlined the plan, said the government intended to work with the private sector to identify innovative financing options, including impact investment, to provide a stable income stream.
“This includes implementing… facilitating private sector investment in social housing, such as using social impact investments to provide incentives for housing providers to improve outcomes for social housing tenants,” the report said.
“By harnessing the innovation of the non-government sector the NSW Government will deliver better outcomes for the most vulnerable people in our community, including those living in social housing.”
Mission Australia CEO Catherine Yeomans welcomed the focus on private sector and Not for Profit partnerships.
“We have long advocated for the need for a partnership and whole of community approach involving the Government, community housing and private sectors to deliver the volume of social and affordable housing required to address homelessness,” Yeomans said.
“As recognised in the paper, we have to leverage private sector investment if we are to stand a chance of getting more affordable houses built. Delivery through community housing, in partnership with investors and developers, offers the best prospects of good outcomes for individual tenants and the communities in which they live.”
The government already has a track record in impact investing, leading the country with the first two social benefit bonds – the Newpin bond and the Benevolent Society bond, which both work with at-risk families and have delivered strong results.
“The NSW Office of Social Impact Investment has been established to grow the social impact market and has delivered Australia’s first two social benefit bonds, seeking to deliver better services and results for families at risk,” the report said.
“Building on the successful launch of these bonds, the NSW Government is committed to finding other opportunities to use social impact investment to deliver better services and results.”
Social housing impact investment is already underway in Queensland, following the announcement of superannuation fund HESTA’s $6.7 million investment into Horizon Housing this month.
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