Time to Break Barriers to Institutional Investment in Affordable Housing

Wednesday 22 March 2023


NHFIC research shows now is the time to break barriers to institutional investment in affordable housing: Property Council

The Property Council of Australia has today welcomed new research from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) highlighting the barriers to international investment in affordable housing.

Property Council Chief Executive Mike Zorbas said the research was characteristic of the high quality of NHFIC’s work and that the analysis provides more reason to support the immediate passage of the Australian Government’s legislative agenda, currently before the Senate.

“Australia faces a stark reality; we are not planning for, or supplying, enough homes across the housing spectrum,” Mr Zorbas said.

“Gateway reforms like the Housing Australia Future Fund and National Housing Supply and Affordability Council must pass the Australian parliament without delay.

“Australia will fail to address the housing gap until we bring down the cost of buying and renting homes by improving our state planning systems, unlocking further supply by becoming the first choice for global capital, as partly anticipated by the national Housing Accord.

“Our reputation for welcoming housing investment must be on par with the UK and US as this report highlights.

“We need to level the playing field for new build-to-rent housing, purpose-built student accommodation and retirement living communities,” he said.

The NHFIC analysis found many investment barriers, noting it was pioneering some of the solutions already.

These barriers include subsidised housing projects lacking sufficient commercial returns, insufficient scale, a lack of information on opportunities, a lack of data on vacancy risks, the need to partner with community housing providers to manage tenancies and access tax incentives, the reputational risks of managing subsidised housing tenancies, and unfavourable market conditions.

“There is an urgent need to accelerate the supply of social and affordable housing,” Mr Zorbas said,

“The playbook is there for Australia to adopt: longstanding government-backed finance, enduring subsidies and incentives including tax credits, and preferential planning treatment,” he said.

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