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SGCH, CEFC demonstrate potential for energy efficient affordable housing

Article for Housing Matters, Federation of Housing Associations Inc., September 2015

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation and SGCH are working together to accelerate construction of new energy efficient affordable housing for key low to middle income city workers, demonstrating the potential for sustainable community housing.

SGCH has begun building 39 affordable housing units in a four-storey apartment block at Peakhurst in southern Sydney - the first project financed by the CEFC in energy efficiency for affordable housing.

The CEFC has committed up to $60 million to SGCH to deliver over 200 new energy efficient homes, and upgrade a proportion of SGCH's 4,300 existing, older properties with energy efficient appliances and other energy saving measures.

SGCH building opening

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said that while the CEFC had significant experience in financing commercial property improvements, the program with SGCH was the first of its kind and the CEFC was looking to this as a model, and is seeking to finance similar programs with other community housing providers across Australia.

"Working with SGCH in this program will demonstrate the potential for a community housing sustainability program that can be implemented in other cities and regional areas," Mr Yates said.

"As part of this project, SGCH will document the energy efficiencies and green procurement opportunities that were considered and included in the building design to help with the ongoing management of its portfolio. It will in addition help inform the CEFC's future investment priorities in the sector."

The program will enable SGCH tenants to benefit from lower energy costs. At the same time, SGCH will reduce the carbon footprint of its extensive housing portfolio, and strengthen its environmental and sustainability credentials in the NSW community housing sector.

Mr Yates said the model would help make such investments more appealing for the housing sector to meet growing needs for more sustainable social housing.

Since its inception, the CEFC has committed over $1.4 billion in finance to investments in clean energy projects valued at over $3.5 billion.

The CEFC operates under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012. More information is available on its website www.cefc.com.au.