The new partnership examining an innovative women’s housing solution
18 January 2022 at 4:19 pm
“Through this housing initiative we aim to provide women with low-but-secure employment incomes, often with little or no deposit, with access to a safe, secure and affordable home”
The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) is exploring a new model that aims to give at-risk and vulnerable women affordable pathways to home ownership.
The independent Commonwealth entity is partnering with Ginninderry – a joint venture between the ACT government’s Suburban Land Agency and Riverview Developments – and Community Housing Canberra (CHC) to develop a Build-to-Rent-to-Buy (BtRtB) model over the next six months.
While Build-to-Rent properties are designed and constructed by a developer who then owns the building, a BtRtB model would offer the renter the chance to eventually buy the home.
This initiative is targeted towards providing housing security for at-risk women, including older women who are the fastest-growing category of people experiencing homelessness in Australia.
While the partnership is currently examining a “proof of concept” for the model, one possible scenario would involve a woman paying affordable rent (at 74.9 per cent the market rate) to a community housing provider over a 10-year period.
During this time, the woman could benefit from a savings plan created for her that is funded by the savings generated by the community housing provider and the cheaper finance NHFIC provides as a Commonwealth entity.
After 10 years, the woman can buy the home – the final cost having been adjusted to factor in her share in any capital growth – while making use of the accumulated savings over the previous decade.
NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon said the entity was thrilled to work with CHC and private sector partners through the Ginninderry Joint Venture.
“With vulnerable women’s housing needs increasingly in focus, this initiative provides a great opportunity to explore affordable pathways to home ownership for at-risk women,” Dal Bon said.
“We’re particularly excited that this bold initiative puts NHFIC at the forefront of housing finance innovation and could be leveraged more broadly to support vulnerable and at-risk women across Australia.”
CHC CEO Andrew Hannan said this project would complement the provider’s existing affordable rental and home ownership programs.
He said there was massive unmet demand for affordable housing from women of all ages and the initiative would help address it.
“Through this housing initiative we aim to provide women with low-but-secure employment incomes, often with little or no deposit, with access to a safe, secure and affordable home with a built-in pathway to home ownership,” Hannan said.
“The bundling is the key difference, and we believe we can deliver a greater and potentially generational impact for these women and their families.”
The initiative partners will spend the coming months identifying potential sites in Ginninderry, ACT and examining an appropriate funding model to support the project.
Construction could begin later this year, if the pilot gets the green light to proceed.