This research examines the affordable housing industry’s current profile and capacity to expand housing options for lower income households.
For the purposes of this study, the affordable housing industry comprises non-government (for-profit and not-for-profit) affordable housing providers and the institutions and individuals that enable, support and regulate their work.
Key gaps in industry infrastructure include the absence of clear and consistent government and industry leadership; a core industry data set; a financial intermediary to harness private investment.
For the industry overall, the main capacity issues identified so far concern: the need for scaled-up and predictable growth opportunities to promote further capacity development and strategic investment; and shortcomings in policy-making capacities and regulation.
There is a strong cohort of commercially-oriented and independent NFPs affordable housing providers with considerable capacity for further growth and development. Better utilisation of their capacity and realisation of scale economies could be achieved through a (preferably national) industry plan that sets clear affordable housing growth targets and is underpinned with secure and adequate subsidy streams, and more cost-effective private financing approaches. Balance sheet enhancement—via giving large CHPs greater control of managed assets—will also be beneficial to growth and efficiency goals. Strengthening the policy framework for affordable housing could also be expected to attract new entrants to the industry from both the for-profit and NFP sectors.