Housing Australia Future Fund agreement reached: what happens next?
By Katrina Reye
Agreement has finally been reached between the Albanese Government and the Greens about the Housing Australia Future Fund for the creation of more social and affordable housing. Importantly, the Government has agreed to increase that, in addition to the $10 Billion Fund, an additional $1 Billion will be invested in the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to support new homes.
We have previously published on the draft legislation for the Fund, in our article, Housing Australia Future Fund: what does it actually mean?
It is expected that the legislation will pass through the Senate this week. The social and affordable housing sector welcomes this long-awaited development with the Fund. The Housing Australia Future Fund Bill 2023 has been published and it was first read in the Senate on 9 February 2023. The grants power in the Bill is set out in section 18. The grants power indicates that most of the funding for social and affordable housing will be channelled via the States, whereas funding for ‘acute housing needs’ will be distributed via the Commonwealth.
Now that the Albanese Government has reached agreement with the Greens, the next important step is to understand the Government’s plans for the timing and tender process for the distribution of the Fund.
So what can interested parties do to prepare for the distribution of the Fund? We expect that the Government and Community Housing Providers will be looking for a pipeline of shovel-ready social and affordable housing projects in a variety of different areas. Developers with available land and/or DA approved residential projects should consider discussing these available sites with Government and Community Housing Providers in their area. Additionally, Community Housing Providers should explore the establishment of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) that can access project finance for these types of projects. There is a lead time needed to establish SPV charities that are also registered Community Housing Providers and ready to enter into Funding Deeds, Contribution Agreements and Project Delivery Agreements relating to this funding.
Hall & Wilcox are closely following developments with the Housing Australia Future Fund and specialise in social and affordable housing projects and working with Community Housing Providers and Housing Australia. If you need any further information, please contact the following people.
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