AHURI research supports affordable housing financing model in Budget 2017

10 May 2017

As part of the 2017-18 Budget, the Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced the creation of an affordable housing bond aggregator, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), to raise money at lower rates from the wholesale bond market for not-for-profit community housing providers. The Government will provide $63.1 million over four years from 2017-18 (including $4.8 million in capital) to establish and run the NHFIC.

The NHFIC is based on AHURI research into bond aggregator models presented to Federal, State and Territory Treasurers in a report of the Affordable Housing Working Group (AHWG) late last year. The final details of the NHFIC will be determined following advice from the Affordable Housing Implementation Taskforce, due by mid-2017 with the Corporation to commence operations from 1 July 2018.

The NHFIC will also administer the National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF) that will, over 5 years, provide $1 billion to support local governments finance critical infrastructure such as transport links, site remediation works and power and water infrastructure needed to speed up the supply of new housing. Payments of $600 million in concessional loans, $225 million in equity investments and $175 million in grants will be made to local governments through State and Territory governments.

The 2017 Budget also replaces the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) between the Commonwealth, states and territories with a new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) to operate from 1 July 2018. The NHHA will combine funding currently allocated under the National Affordable Housing Specific Purpose Payment (NAHSPP) and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).

The NHHA will target jurisdiction-specific priorities including supply targets, planning and zoning reforms and renewal of public housing stock while also supporting the delivery of frontline homelessness services. Funding for both the housing and homelessness sectors will be ongoing and indexed, with the Commonwealth contributing $4.6 billion to the NHHA between 2018 and 2022. As part of this funding, the Government will provide $375.3 million over three years from 2018–19 to fund ongoing homelessness support services, with funding matched by the states and territories.