Wednesday, May 4, 2016

NSW Government announces SAHF shortlist

The NSW Government has announced that nine parties have been shortlisted to participate in the first stage of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund ('SAHF'). The SAHF was established in 2015, with $1.1 billion in seed capital from the State, to assist Community Housing providers, private developers, landholders, and NGOs to develop Social and Affordable Housing. 

Above: An award-winning Social Housing development 

The shortlisted parties include four standalone applicants - specialist Community Housing providers Link and St George, plus BaptistCare and Uniting, care organisations involved in Community Housing. The other five are consortia containing Community Housing providers and/or care organisations and private interests. At the industry briefing concerning the SAHF, NSW Government representatives suggested that only consortia would be considered. The State received 24 applications in total. 

There is no indication of where the shortlisted parties propose to construct new housing, nor how many properties each applicant intends to deliver. However, the SAHF project team previously indicated that approximately 30% of dwellings to be provided at the first stage will be in regional NSW. Nor is there any indication of how many parties will ultimately be successful. But given 3000 properties will be built in the initial tranche, and the minimum project size is 500 dwellings for metro-based applications and 200 for regional or mixed applications, it is possible that all shortlisted parties could be selected.

The shortlisted applicants must now submit detailed proposals. The NSW Government is expected to announce its preferred applicants in August 2016. The announcement provides that successful applicants are expected to begin tenanting SAHF properties in two to three years. 

The Social and Affordable Housing fund is one means by which the State hopes to increase the Social Housing portfolio under the overarching 'Future Directions' plan. 

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