Social & Affordable Housing


Providing access to homes to those who need it most is an essential form of social infrastructure. With an estimated 727,300 social housing dwellings needed over the next two decades, the federal and state governments are finding innovative ways to deliver social and affordable housing.

Initiatives designed to boost social and affordable housing such as the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) in NSW and the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), are attracting significant investment interest, setting this sector on a high growth trajectory.

Hall & Wilcox is leading the way in supporting development of and investment in the social and affordable housing sector. We have been involved in a number of major social housing and National Disability Insurance Scheme projects across Australia.

We act for public and private companies and not-for-profit organisations nationally. Our experience in this sector includes advising on planning, procurement and development, property transactions, fund establishment and management, tax requirements and transaction finance.

We understand that social and community housing projects often involve complex transactions. We partner with our clients and collaborate with them to achieve their goals.

We are proud of our work in the affordable and social housing sector.


  • 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.
  • Acting for Compass Housing Services Co Limited in relation to the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF). SAHF 1 was a Request for Proposal (RFP) 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.
  • 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 (RFT) process.
  • 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 RFP 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. The project involves the transfer of residents from the large residential centres to the group homes. Approximately 330 people are to be transferred, 57 separate parcels of land acquired and 69 purpose built group homes constructed. Ongoing provision of disability accommodation services and tenancy management services to the residents is also included.
  • 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.
  • Advising Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Community Sector Banking in relation to the a $50m pilot for the provision of debt funding to various community housing providers in Australia to subsidise affordable housing tenants to buy their own home.
  • Acting for the Catholic Church in relation to multiple property developments including the Empire Hotel social housing development.
  • Advising a prominent Sydney property developer in relation to the land use planning aspects of several significant mixed-use developments. The developments are all urban renewal projects and involve complex land use planning arrangements. The planning agreements formally record the mix of contractual arrangements to deliver public benefits including social housing funding, river foreshore stabilisation, new parks, new public roads and improved public domain.
  • 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.
  • Acting for a well-established Melbourne residential home builder in its joint venture with another residential home building company, to enter Melbourne’s affordable housing market. The Hall & Wilcox team advised the client on all aspects of the negotiations and establishment of the joint venture.
  • Advising the UK’s Community Health Partnerships – an investment arm of the National Health Service – on the delivery of the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) initiative. LIFT has gone on to deliver over 300 health hubs across England, enhancing the amenities of local communities through the provision of co-located health services.

Key contact

Natalie Bannister

Partner and Commercial National Practice Leader

Natalie has close to 20 years’ experience in property, planning and environment law and has been recognised as a...

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