Social & Affordable Housing

 

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.

Capability

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.

Experience snapshot

Arena REIT

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.

HOPE Housing

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.

Greystar

Advising Greystar on the planning approval for its South Yarra Build to Rent proposal.

Featured thinking

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Key contacts

Meg is a Partner in our Property and Projects team, specialising in planning and environment law. She has over 20...

Rory has over 10 years’ experience in planning and environmental law and was recognised in 2016 as a “Rising...

Katrina practises principally in the areas of commercial law and property law and development.

Nick has 19 years’ experience acting for Australian and international financiers and borrowers in corporate finance, acquisition finance, real...

Related thinking

Social & Affordable Housing| 18 May 2021

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