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Australian Retirement Trust welcomes federal budget affordable housing announcement

Media release - 26 October 2022

“As a large investor with more than two million members across Australia, Australian Retirement Trust fully supports the announcement of the Housing Accord 2022 in the October 2022-23 federal budget.

“We recognise that secure and affordable housing is one of the most significant contributors to the financial wellbeing of our members, and all Australians, throughout their working lives and in retirement.

“Housing is a complex issue that requires a coordinated policy response from all levels of Government as well as the private and community sector, so we welcome this commitment to develop workable financing approaches that will best leverage institutional capital.

“Our priority is acting in our members' best financial interests and maximising real, long term investment returns, but institutional investors and the private sector also have a role to play in carefully examining where there are opportunities for investment, or barriers that we can help to clear.

“With the national rental vacancy rate at a record low and advertised rents significantly increasing over the last twelve months, the time has come for all stakeholders to collaborate to improve financing for new social and affordable housing projects.

“Earlier this year we announced our intention to finance new social and affordable housing supply in Queensland in partnership with QIC and working in conjunction with Brisbane Housing Company (BHC). The proposed investment partnership provides an innovative and scalable model for the financing, development and operation of social and affordable housing without compromising our fiduciary duty to our members.

“We believe this particular proposed investment opportunity is an example of how super funds can support the development of more affordable housing and are actively looking to participate in more of these opportunities across Australia where they represent appropriate risk-adjusted returns.

'We look forward to working with all parties involved in the accord to optimise policy settings that facilitate institutional investment in affordable housing.

“Access to safe, stable and affordable housing is critical to the financial wellbeing of all Australians, and it is only by working together we will deliver tangible benefits.”