Leading Australian law firm Hall & Wilcox has become an affiliate member of PowerHousing Australia, a national network of 33 leading growth community housing providers who develop and manage social and affordable housing.
Hall & Wilcox has a strong commitment to, and expertise in, the social and affordable housing sector and social infrastructure generally. The firm acts for Compass Housing and Hume Community Housing across a number of complex projects (the most recent being the NHFIC ‘s first social bond issuance).
PowerHousing Australia’s members provide 60,000 homes for more than 100,000 people in housing worth more than $20 billion.
Partner Nick Slack said the firm was looking forward to working with PowerHousing Australia to help tackle the affordable housing and other specialist disability challenges facing Australia.
‘There has been dawning recognition that solving the complex problem of providing affordable housing across the country requires active participation of federal, state and local government, the finance sector, the building and construction industry and the not-for-profit sector,’ he said.
‘We are well placed to continue to assist the key players in the social infrastructure space, given our expertise in banking and finance, property and projects and tax. Our participation in this space forms part of our broader commitment to achieving better social outcomes, more sustainable communities and complements our pro bono and not-for-profit practices.’
According to a recent report by the UNSW City Futures Research Centre and Community Housing Association, Australia needs to build more than 1 million social and affordable homes by 2036 to arrest the shortfall caused by a lack of investment across decades and slow wages growth. One-third of the shortfall will be in NSW.
PowerHousing Australia CEO Nicholas Proud welcomed the new strategic engagement with Hall & Wilcox as being another strategic partnership that will greatly advantage the CHP sector in its future scale investment in the delivery of scale affordable housing.
‘Hall & Wilcox has been providing their significant expertise to the sector to see many projects, particularly in disability housing and affordable housing, to succeed. The fact that many of these types of legal structures and partnerships are new makes them unique and this can bring complexity, which Hall & Wilcox have been able to navigate,’ he said.
‘There has been a shift in the move towards focusing on affordable housing and, as the supply pipeline comes back from record delivery levels, the attention provided to affordable housing structured developments will only increase, as new vehicles such as the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation get fully active.
‘While there is much to do on the part of PowerHousing Australia members to tackle the complexity of housing affordability, we have every confidence that the partnership with Hall & Wilcox will see our unique and compatible capacity fully leveraged to deliver tens of thousands of new affordable housing in the coming years.