Innovative Build-to-Rent-to-Buy model to help at-risk and vulnerable women become homeowners
The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ginninderry – a Joint Venture between the ACT Government’s Suburban Land Agency (SLA) and Riverview Developments (Riverview) – and community housing provider (CHP) Community Housing Canberra (CHC) to explore an innovative women’s housing initiative.
The MoU will enable NHFIC, the SLA, Riverview and CHC to develop a Build-to-Rent-to-Buy (BtRtB) proof of concept model for at-risk and vulnerable women by working together in the coming six months.
Over the coming months, NHFIC, CHC and the Ginninderry Joint Venture will review and identify potential sites in Ginninderry, ACT and explore an appropriate funding model to support the initiative. Should the pilot proceed, it is anticipated that construction could commence later in 2022.
Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Yvette Berry MLA, said: “This initiative is a fantastic opportunity and supports the ACT Government’s commitment to putting housing first for those that need it in our community. Our government has a long held commitment to intervening where the housing market fails to provide for people in our community and this MOU directly illustrates that. I am excited to see the new opportunities that this collaboration will bring for this part of the community housing sector.”
NHFIC CEO, Nathan Dal Bon, said: “With vulnerable women’s housing needs increasingly in focus, this initiative provides a great opportunity to explore affordable pathways to home ownership for at-risk women. As part of this initiative, we are exploring a Build-to-Rent-to-Buy and shared equity project, and we’re thrilled to work with CHC and private sector partners through the Ginninderry Joint Venture. We’re particularly excited that this bold initiative puts NHFIC at the forefront of housing finance innovation and could be leveraged more broadly to support vulnerable and at-risk women across Australia.”
Community Housing Canberra CEO, Andrew Hannan, said: “We look forward to progressing this exciting project with our partners, which will complement our existing affordable rental and home ownership programs. Through this housing initiative we aim to provide women with low-but-secure employment incomes, often with little or no deposit, with access to a safe, secure and affordable home with a built-in pathway to home ownership. The bundling is the key difference, and we believe we can deliver a greater and potentially generational impact for these women and their families. We see new enquiries every day from women of all ages, and it’s fantastic to think that we can better address this this massive unmet demand.”
Ginninderry Joint Venture Project Director, Stephen Harding, said: “From the start, the Ginninderry Joint Venture has committed to creating environmental, economic and social benefits for the community, and this partnership is a great way to continue this commitment. More importantly, we are pleased to partner with NHFIC and CHC to investigate how Ginninderry can assist in providing housing security for at-risk women.”
The BtRtB model provides renters with the ability to transition to home ownership.
As a hypothetical example under BtRtB, a woman living in rental housing would pay affordable rent (at 74.9% of market rent) to a CHP over a 10 year rental period. In that time, the woman could benefit from a savings plan, created on her behalf and potentially funded by NHFIC’s lower cost of financing combined with the CHP’s operational efficiencies. At the end of the period, the woman has the option to buy the housing, adjusting for her share in any capital growth, and also benefitting from the savings plan accumulated over 10 years.
NHFIC’s mission is to improve housing outcomes for Australians. Established in 2018, NHFIC is a corporate Commonwealth entity that provides long-term and low-cost finance and capability building assistance to registered community housing providers (CHPs) to support the provision of more social and affordable housing. NHFIC lends, invests and provides grants to help finance the critical infrastructure needed to unlock and accelerate new housing supply. NHFIC supports home buyers by administering Government schemes that help them purchase their home sooner, and undertakes independent research into housing supply, demand and affordability in Australia.
About Community Housing Canberra (chcaustralia.com.au)
CHC is a not-for-profit registered Community Housing Provider and is the largest developer and manager of social and affordable housing based in Canberra, with over 20 years’ experience delivering for the Canberra community. CHC has undertaken a large portfolio of property developments totalling over 1000 dwellings, that has enabled us to grow our affordable rental supply and provide affordable home purchase opportunities, whilst also supporting financial independence. Our core services include tenancy management, property management, client services, community development, as well as supporting affordable home ownership. For more details visit chcaustralia.com.au CHC also operates the only not-for-profit licenced real estate agency in the ACT, HomeGround Real Estate Canberra, which targets growth in affordable rental supply via third-party owned residential Investment properties. Through this model third-party owners are potentially entitled to ACT land tax exemptions and ATO tax concessions in return for accepting a lower gross rent. For more details visit homegroundrealestatecanberra.com.au
About the Ginninderry Joint Venture
Ginninderry, a Joint Venture (JV) between the ACT Government and Riverview Developments, is a community with a difference. Aspiring to be a sustainable community of international significance, Ginninderry will cater to Canberra’s needs as a growing city. Stretching from the north-western suburbs of Canberra (Holt and Macgregor) across the ACT/NSW border into the Yass Valley, Ginninderry will eventually be home to approximately 11,500 homes and 30,000 people. Ginninderry has been rated as a 6 Star Green Star Community by the Green Building Council of Australia – a testament to its liveability and contribution to the local economy, governance, environment, design and innovation. Planned facilities include new schools, shops, childcare centres and medical centres. Beyond the urban area of Ginninderry, the JV is working with the independent Ginninderry Conservation Trust to deliver a proposed 596 ha of conservation corridor that connects Ginninderry to the surrounding Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek. This is just one example of how Ginninderry is inspiring a new way of living.