Industry funds back social housing

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CBUS Super and Hesta were among the super funds to participate in the latest National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC)’s latest $462 million social bonds issuance, which took its total issuances beyond $2 billion.

Cbus Super has received $51 million in allocations in two recent NHFIC funding rounds, taking its total issuances to almost $140 million. This includes $10 million allocated to Cbus in NHFIC’s first sustainability bond and $41 million across NHFIC’s two latest social bond issuances.

NHFIC provides low-cost and longer-term loans to community housing providers for the provision of social and affordable housing.

Eight community housing providers will receive funds from NHFIC’s $362 million fixed-rate bond, financed with 10-year fixed rate interest-only loans. Providers SGCH Group, Mission Australia, Unison, Common Equity VIC, Foundation, Pacific Link, HCA SA and HCT support more than 1,000 new and over 2,800 existing homes in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia.

The sustainability bond will support the delivery of around 600 social homes, 450 affordable and private rental homes and 50 supported disability accommodation across sites in Melbourne.

Hesta has invested $21.5 million into NHFIC sustainable bonds following the latest subscription. Both it and Cbus Super took part in the previous $562 million social bond issue by the state-owned affordable housing bond.

“By bringing together different levels of government with the community housing sector and investors like Cbus, NHFIC has enabled capital to be deployed in an innovative and impactful way,” Cbus Super CEO Justin Arter said.

Cbus Super CIO Kristian Fok said Cbus advocacy for the bond aggregator model was paying off for members and the community.

“Right from the beginning our team advocated for a bond aggregator that could fund new builds for social and affordable housing,” Fok said.

“These investments meet our risk and return requirement for members, while providing a robust funding source for affordable and social housing.

“The new construction supported by these issuances shows the model works. Cbus is proud to be supporting this construction through our investments.”

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