National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) Social Bonds

Primary impact area  Impact area Geographic location of impact Investment commencement SDG alignment
Social Housing & Social Real Estate Australia  2019  

 


In Australia housing supply has not kept up with demand, particularly in major metropolitan areas, impacting the ability of Australians to find affordable accommodation. The Australian Government established the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) in 2018 to improve housing outcomes for all Australians. 

The NHFIC operates the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator - which provides cheaper and longer-term secured finance for Australian Community Housing Providers (CHPs) by issuing bonds in Australia’s debt capital markets.

In 2019, NHFIC issued two social bonds to support loans to CHPs which increase the supply and quality of social and affordable housing, maintenance of social housing and social wraparound services.

Tenants and residents in social housing include low-income tenants, young people, people with disabilities, older women over 55, and vulnerable and disadvantaged families and individuals.

Wrap around services for tenants range from youth services and employment services, financial and literacy skills training, training and employment counselling, to mental health support and services to address domestic and family violence.

QBE supported both of NHFIC’s bonds issued in 2019 which enable investment in social and affordable housing at an institutional investor scale. By the end of 2019, the combination of both bond issuances brought the total value of loans the NHFIC Board had approved to more than AUD 830 million, supporting the delivery of more than 1000 new, and 3600 existing, social and affordable homes, ultimately benefiting tenants on lower incomes.

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“Through our social bond issuances, investors have the opportunity to invest in AAA rated, Government-guaranteed social bonds, helping to address the significant and prevailing financing gap in Australia’s community housing sector. The first two social bonds have assisted community housing providers in saving around AUD 93 million in interest – helping them increase their operational capacity, support further developments and new builds, develop disability accommodation and provide community programs to further support those most in need.”

— Nathan Dal Bon, NHFIC CEO

Case study: Unity Housing Company Limited, South Australia

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Arron’s home is a building block of independence

Living with cerebral palsy has not discouraged Arron from enjoying an independent and rewarding life. Having a two-bedroom home provided through Unity to call his home, with generous living space and 24/7 support located nearby, enables Arron to have a fulfilling and empowering life.

“Compared to where I was, my living room now used to be my whole apartment in the other place so this is a lot better,” he says. “My journey has been interesting. I’ve had a lot of external support and a lot of encouragement. I’ve got some really good carers. I’ve started going out a bit more now that I have better conditions for living.”

Arron attended Underdale High School then went on to study naturopathy at a school of natural medicine, where he received three individual certificates. “I did it to improve my knowledge,” he says. “I don’t use it much now, but I still retain the knowledge.”

Arron’s cat, Tina, is a constant and affectionate support. “I got her from the RSPCA and she’s nearly 21 years old,” he says. “She’s a very annoying but lovable cat.”

Arron’s attitude to life is “pretty straight forward and to the point”. “I don’t mince my words,” he smiles. “It’s got me into trouble over the years but my outlook on life is pretty positive – as long as I have got a roof over my head, food in the house and Tina is taken care of. I enjoy my surroundings, where I live and my everyday life.”

*Unity Housing is one of the CHPs which have received finance through NHFIC.

Source: Premiums4Good Investment Impact Report 2019-2020