Allens has advised Evolve Housing (Evolve) on a 10-year, A$70 million facility provided by the Federal Government’s National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (the
NHFIC). Funded by the proceeds of a A$315 million social bond issuance by the NHFIC, the loan will be used by Evolve to refinance existing debt facilities and support its ongoing activities in providing affordable housing and social support programs.
Evolve is one of the first community housing providers to receive a loan funded by the NHFIC’s first social bond issuance, which drew strong demand from local and offshore institutional investors.
Based in Western Sydney, Evolve Housing is one of the largest community housing providers in Australia, that assists low income earners or people who are otherwise disadvantaged or unable to access appropriate housing.
The NHFIC bond issuance and subsequent loans, allow the recipient community housing providers to borrow at interest rates below their current rates.
‘We were delighted to advise existing client, Evolve Housing, on its financing arrangements with the NHFIC, which were obtained from the proceeds of the NHFIC’s first bond issuance. The loan facility with the NHFIC leverages the Government bond rate, to provide cheaper and longer-term financing than Evolve could otherwise access on the market,’ said lead Partner Jo Folan.
‘We are seeing strong investor interest in social bonds, and there are signs to suggest that affordable housing could grow into an asset class of its own, alongside green buildings, low carbon transport and renewable energy in capital markets,’ she said.