NAB has set a new target to lend at least a further $6 billion by 2029 to help more Australians access affordable and specialist housing.
Target areas include specialist disability accommodation, development of social and affordable housing projects, and access to finance for low-income earners and essential workers through Government-supported housing schemes.
The announcement follows the Federal Treasurer’s first Investor Roundtable meeting, which focused on promoting more investment in housing, particularly social and affordable housing.
NAB CEO Ross McEwan, who was invited to address the roundtable, said affordable housing was a significant and growing issue which could be better supported by banks and other finance providers.
“NAB is working closely with community organisations and governments to deliver solutions to the affordable housing challenge in Australia,” Mr McEwan said.
“We know a place to call your own helps drive a safe, secure and prosperous country, one that creates opportunities for all Australians.
“Helping Australians buy a home is a significant part of what NAB does and we want to do more to help provide a greater supply of safe and affordable homes, particularly for people on low incomes.”
In November 2019, NAB set a target to provide $2 billion of financing to support affordable and specialist housing over three years. The target was met and surpassed, with financing of more than $3.6 billion within three years.
The new target follows the release of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data that showed waitlists for social housing were over 175,000 households nationwide in 2021.
In the broader rental market, rental prices have surged 10% during the past 12 months, according to CoreLogic, while NAB data released last week showed one in five renters unable to pay their rent on time in the past quarter.
Mr McEwan said new and innovative projects were helping to address the lack of social and affordable housing.
“One example is the Synergis Fund, which invests in specialist disability accommodation,” he said.
“Synergis has over 80 projects completed or under development that will provide homes for over 300 Australians, across four states. In the next five years it is aiming to provide homes for over 2,000 Australians that would otherwise not have access to such housing.”
Mr McEwan said programs such as the Federal Government’s Housing Australia Future Fund, Home Guarantee Scheme and Help to Buy Scheme were providing capital investment solutions to the housing issues.
“The Government’s newly established National Housing Supply and Affordability Council (NHSAC) creates opportunity to further drive better outcomes for all Australians,” he said.
“We see a need for more nationally consistent planning rules, to enable more homes to be built in inner and middle ring suburbs of our largest cities.
“Incentives for organisations to release, sell or at least partly develop large parcels of unused or underutilised land would also create more affordable housing supply. The exact incentives offered could be informed by advice from NHSAC.
“Greater collaboration between the finance sector, state, territory and federal governments could also increase construction of affordable and social housing, with tailored options required on debt and equity to facilitate more lending to community housing providers.
“We are focused on working closely with our customers and governments on this ongoing challenge and I welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the discussion at the Treasurer’s Investor Roundtable.”
Notes to the Editor:
- In FY22, NAB helped 4,096 low-income Australians buy their first home through the First Home Guarantee, supported the development of new, high quality SDA homes for approximately 247 Australians, and furthered support for government initiatives to build new social and affordable housing, helping more than 300 people into homes. NAB also supported affordable housing for over 900 dwellings for seniors.
- In October 2020, NAB joined the Constellation Project (Constellation) as an Alliance Member. Constellation’s work is focused on new and sustainable solutions to homelessness, including increasing the number of affordable, accessible and secure housing options.
- Synergis partners with select SDA Providers to develop homes focussed on participant needs. Synergis’ vision is for every person living with disability in Australia to have access to high quality, safe, stable and appropriate housing, and aims to have invested $1 billion within the next 5 years. Find out more about Synergis here and participant stories here.