SGCH Budget Reply

4 April 2022

Speaking about the AUD 2 billion increase in the liability cap of NHFIC’s Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA), Scott Langford, CEO, SGCH commented: 

Our social and affordable housing system today needs substantial investment.

The Leptos review found investment of $290 billion is required over the next 20 years to make the system fit for purpose and capable of growing to meet future demand.

Solving the funding challenges we face needs both public and private participation to make meaningful progress. Rather than just sugar hits in the form of stimulus, we need structural reform that recognises the central role of community housing providers in bringing together capital and capability.

Policies that signal government backing of affordable housing as crucial infrastructure will help to attract institutional investment, so we welcome the Government’s budget announcement of the AUD 2 billion increase in the liability cap of NHFIC’s Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA). NHFIC has been a game changer and this announcement builds on the successes to date, and will complement other government programs and leverage further large scale private sector investment

Increasingly, social and affordable housing is being cemented as an investment class offering the benefits of low-volatility, long-term demand and the assurance of being highly regulated. Investors understand the opportunities of the stable economic return and incredibly high social return available from this emerging global asset class.

There is a growing weight of capital with strong ESG drivers looking to invest. With the right policy settings and certainty this appetite can be unleashed to deliver more and better social and affordable housing.

As we head towards a federal election we are encouraged to see political leaders begin to grasp the nettle to make further structural reform that in the decades ahead will leave a legacy of a well-capitalised system that provides the springboard and safety net of affordable homes.