Recently, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) released the details of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF). The NHIF is a $1 billion facility that offers concessional loans, grants and equity investments to help support enabling infrastructure for housing projects. The fund is aimed at improving housing outcomes for Australians, including the supply of housing and investment in housing, in particularly, social and affordable housing.
For housing developments, including individual projects and growth areas, this means the ability to finance infrastructure components which may currently be restricting development feasibility, or advancing priority infrastructure programs to deliver critical infrastructure, such as bridge connections or major utilities, in the short term instead of in 10+ years’ time.
This funding could provide the opportunity to turn a medium density project with no affordable housing to a high density project with dedicated affordable housing. It could also be the difference between a vacant site with contamination issues and a remediated site that supports new housing development opportunities.
Funding is available for new or upgraded infrastructure for services such as water, sewerage, electricity, telecommunications or transportation and site remediation works including the removal of hazardous waste or contamination. Eligibility for grants and finance is based on the ability to demonstrate that a project is unlikely to proceed, or would be likely to proceed only at a much later date, or with a lesser impact on new affordable housing, without financing provided by the NHFIC.
To apply for funding an applicant must be an Australian State or Territory, a local governing body, a local government owned investment corporation, a utility provider, a registered community housing provider, or a special purpose vehicle (SPV). An SPV can be a joint venture, a partnership or an incorporated entity involving, so long as at least one member is an eligible proponent.
For private developers, there is the opportunity to enter a SPV to apply for funding for relevant projects. For example, this could be establishing a joint venture with a community housing provider to deliver a social housing project, or it could be entering a partnership with Council to fund critical infrastructure required to service a specific development and/or growth area.
Up to $175 million of the facility is available as grants with the remaining $825 million available as concessional loans and equity investment, which will form part of a revolving permanent fund (with returns on loans and equity investments to be reinvested).
Expressions of interest for funding opportunities are now open and additional information can be accessed here: https://nhfic.gov.au/nhif/. If you would like assistance with developing a funding application for your project, please contact one of our experts today.