Successful social investment bond issue kickstarts afordable housing asset class

PowerHousing Australia today welcomed the announcement of the first bond issued through the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator managed by the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC) which will support affordable housing tenants and forms the basis of a new affordable housing investment asset class.

The borrowing rate for the Community Housing Sector is to be set at its lowest 3%, which is unheard of. This rate changes the game for scale Community Housing Providers (CHPs) that provide low cost rental housing to tens of thousands of low income and key workers, including many NRAS One tenants whose subsidies are starting to lapse.

Today affordable housing social bond has been successfully announced to the world as a burgeoning asset class for domestic and international AAA rated government backed investment.

The announcement by NHFIC of a $315 million bond issue with an unprecedented low financing rate for CHPs, means that domestic and international investors now have sparked interest in this safe, long term social investment bond for investment with waves of capital to flow into the provision of affordable housing today and into the future.

Importantly, it is also provides the first real support mechanism to offset the loss of the NRAS One incentive which has just short of 37,000 families with affordable rental properties whose subsidies started to lapse as of December 2018.

Having an affordable housing bond issue of this scale is an important step to see greater numbers of affordable homes financed for the betterment of Australians who would otherwise have even less opportunity to find affordable housing in the face of abject failure in the market rental system.

Extraordinarily, NHFIC was announced only 22 months ago and established as of July 1 2018 following developmental work supported by PowerHousing Members alongside Treasury with the welcome bipartisan approach of then Treasurer Morrison and assisted by Shadow Housing Minister, Senator Doug Cameron.

To be delivering such investment so soon and be poised for significant scaling of future bond issues provides great optimism for PowerHousing Members and to the untold numbers whose lives are impacted by simply having a house, which is testament to this pioneering NHIFC, Treasury and Sector collaborative.