11 Oct 2019

NAB lays down $2 billion to build affordable and specialist housing

More Australians will be able to access affordable housing following a $2 billion commitment from NAB which will see more homes being built across the nation.

NAB Chief Customer Officer Corporate & Institutional Banking David Gall said NAB was proud to join forces with the not-for-profit sector to support the thousands of Australians not able to access appropriate housing in the mainstream market.

“Currently, there is a lack of long-term funding options for specialist housing providers which is contributing to a shortage of appropriate accommodation and shelter for Australians in need,” Mr Gall said.

“This is a significant social issue – and we’re determined to help by funding more affordable and specialist homes and improving the capacity and financial maturity of the sector so that it can attract more investment.”

Mr Gall said NAB will focus on providing loans and developing new financing avenues for not-forprofit groups and other organisations that build affordable and specialist housing, including crisis accommodation, community housing, disability housing, build-to-rent properties and sustainable developments.

“We don’t have all the answers, but we have deep understanding of the housing market, financing expertise and the right relationships to have a positive impact. We are up for the challenge,” Mr Gall said.

NAB already supports many organisations in the affordable and social housing sector, including Launch Housing, an independent community agency whose mission is to end homelessness.

Launch Housing Chief Executive Bevan Warner said more homes and more support are needed to end homelessness. We need socially responsible lending practices and rent subsidies to ensure more low-cost homes get built that people can afford to rent.

“The community can end homelessness by working together, and NAB’s announcement is a big step in the right direction. It gives organisations like ours the confidence to plan and bring projects forward to both corporate and government funders, to help the growing number of people who desperately need housing and support,” Mr Warner said.

Disability accommodation organisations, such as NAB-financed SDA Alliance, will also benefit from today’s announcement and have welcomed it as a substantial investment.

Managing Director of SDA Alliance, Melanie Southwell said “Additional capital like this is needed to ensure that approximately 28,000 Australians with very high disability support needs or extreme functional impairments have an appropriate and accessible place to call home.

“We need a diverse range of investors and lenders to achieve this. Seeing a big player like NAB step up to the challenge is brilliant, and we hope will in turn show others the way. We look forward to working together to grow the sector and successfully meet the housing needs of people with disabilities.”

NAB’s $2 billion investment will:

  • make NAB the first Australian bank to lend at scale to crisis accommodation providers, starting with loans of up to $5 million. This investment will help crisis accommodation providers purchase properties to accommodate people experiencing domestic and family violence and other vulnerable circumstances;
  • provide lending and banking services to not-for-profit community housing providers, including creating new funding models that will give them more capital to build more homes;
  • increase funding for developers of sustainable housing projects;
  • develop policies for lending to disability housing providers so that NAB can fund the sector on a larger scale;
  • develop viable funding options for build-to-rent projects in Australia, drawing on the experience and skills of NAB’s London-based team who support the UK community housing market.

NAB is also committed to working with governments and other stakeholders to identify ways to meaningfully increase affordable housing stock, including through new financing and funding models.

The announcement follows the release of the Australian National Outlook 2019 report, which was a collaboration between CSIRO, NAB and 19 other non-government organisations. NAB’s $2 billion commitment directly addresses one of the key shifts identified in the report for Australia to achieve a positive Outlook Vision.

For more information about the Australian National Outlook project and report, click here.

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