Lack of affordable housing has been recognised as one of the main sources of inequality in Australia. Providing access to homes to those who need it most is an essential form of social infrastructure. An integrated approach, combining all levels of government, industry and a broad cross-section of the not-for-profit sector, will deliver the best outcomes.
How we can help
We are leading the way in supporting the development of, and investment in, the social and affordable housing sector. We have acted for state and local governments, public and private companies and not-for-profit organisations nationally. We are committed to helping tackle the affordable housing and other specialist disability challenges facing the community.
A commercial approach
We understand that social and community housing projects often involve complex transactions. Our experience in this sector includes advising on planning, procurement and development, due diligence, property transactions, construction, fund establishment and management, tax requirements and transaction finance.
Our collaborative teams bring together the multidisciplinary skill-set needed to assist clients from the outset of their projects to completion, ensuring seamless results.
We have a demonstrated track record in National Disability Insurance Scheme projects, including the Social and Affordable Housing Fund initiatives in NSW, the Big Housing Build in Victoria and financing through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).
We have specialised knowledge of government initiatives used to stimulate growth in the social housing sector and a detailed understanding of the applicable legislation.
Our team has significant experience acting on behalf of community housing providers, build-to-rent housing developers, financiers and developers to deliver secure and affordable housing to those in need.
We also act as a trusted advisor to government. Our people understand the culture and dynamics of the public sector environment, and appreciate that the solution to a problem often requires a careful balance of policy, administrative and strategic imperatives.
Advising Arena REIT on its acquisition of three specialist disability housing properties in Adelaide. The three properties are leased on a long term basis to SA disability care and rehabilitation services provider, SACARE.
Compass Housing Services Co Limited
Acting for Compass Housing Services Co Limited in relation to the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF). SAHF 1 was a Request for Proposal process run by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) involving a Services Agreement for the development of 2,000 social housing dwellings and the provision of services associated with the management of the social housing for a term of 25 years. Our client was successful and was awarded a contract to deliver 600 new social and affordable dwellings in NSW.
Compass Housing Group
Advising the Compass Housing Group in connection with the Social Housing Management Transfers (SHMT) in NSW. This program involved the transfer of social housing services for nine geographical locations from FACS to the community housing sector through a Request for Tender process.
Joint venture - Compass Housing, BlueCHP and Lighthouse Infrastructure
Advising on a joint venture between Compass Housing, BlueCHP and Lighthouse Infrastructure to create not-for-profit entity, Home4Life as part of the Hunter Residences Project. This project involved a Request for Proposal process run by the State Government to provide purpose-built group homes for persons suffering from a disability currently living in large residential care centres.
Community housing providers
Acting for various community housing providers in three proposed NHFIC financings. Two are a refinance of an existing debt facility; the other is a major financing of a SAHF project. Each of these transactions required close interaction with the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) and FACS.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Advising Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Community Sector Banking in relation to the $50 million pilot for the provision of debt funding to various community housing providers in Australia to subsidise affordable housing tenants to buy their own home.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victoria
Advising and assisting the DHHS on the legislative processes and options to facilitate a streamlined process for approval of housing projects by or on behalf of the Director of Housing and where funded by the Big Housing Build program.
Providing extensive advice and documentation to HOPE Housing to structure arrangements in a manner that meets licensing and other regulatory requirements, meets the requirements of the ADI lending partners, and can be explained to and understood by potential homeowners.
Major lending institution
Advising a major lending institution in relation to the proposed funding of a social housing PPP in Tasmania. This included advising in relation to land transfer arrangements, development agreements, funding arrangements (including the negotiation of lender’s tripartite agreement) for the development of social housing by the private sector.
Advising Greystar on the planning approval for its South Yarra Build to Rent proposal.
Property & Projects| 22 Jul 2020
Partner Katrina Reye examines key challenges facing social and affordable housing and what the sector ...
Social & Affordable Housing| 14 May 2019
Hall & Wilcox partners with PowerHousing Australia to tackle social and affordable housing challenges
Leading Australian law firm Hall & Wilcox has become an affiliate member of PowerHousing Australia, a ...
Join us on Wednesday, 24 March, 12.00pm - 1.15pm AEDT for a panel discussion as we discuss the approaches being taken in Victoria and NSW in respect of that most crucial element of social infrastructure – social and affordable housing.
We will also delve into what can be done to incentivise private investment in the sector, and the most pressing challenges are for community housing providers.