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Essential service workers to benefit from CEFC-financed energy efficient affordable housing with SGCH

24 September 2015


Essential service workers, including school and hospital staff, are set to benefit from a new energy efficient affordable housing project financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and SGCH.

Construction work on 39 affordable housing units for people on low-to-moderate incomes began today in Peakhurst, Sydney, marking an important milestone for both the CEFC and SGCH.

The new housing development is being funded with finance from the CEFC's first investment in energy efficiency for affordable housing.

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates congratulated SGCH on reaching the important development milestone.

"It's very exciting to be part of this project, which will deliver sustainable and energy efficient affordable housing, reducing energy costs for low-to-moderate income families," Mr Yates said.

"It's vital to the future of our cities that workers and their families on low to moderate incomes have access to affordable housing near where they work and we are pleased to be able to support the important work SGCH is doing in this area, bringing the benefits of better energy efficient homes for these families."

"This innovative initiative shows how better energy solutions can make a real difference in our community for years to come. Energy efficient homes mean lower energy bills, as well as lower emissions, which have the potential to drive the transformation of our cities' operations, their sustainability and their liveability."

According to Australia's peak community welfare body, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the lowest income households spend seven per cent of their disposable income on energy, compared with 2.6 per cent for the highest income households. Incorporating energy efficiency measures into a property at construction stage means ongoing lower energy consumption for the building's lifespan.

SGCH is building 39 affordable housing units in a four-storey apartment block at Lawrence Street, Peakhurst in southern Sydney. The apartment block will include energy efficiency measures such as double glazed windows, improved insulation in the floors, walls and ceilings and the installation of ceiling fans to target an 8-star rating under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). NatHERS encourages energy efficient building design and construction by providing a reliable way to estimate and rank the potential thermal performance of residential buildings in Australia. A 6-star NatHERS rating represents good thermal performance while a 10-star rating means a home is unlikely to need any artificial heating or cooling.

SGCH marked the commencement of construction with an on-site 'silver spade' ceremony today (Thursday, 24 September). 

"This is an exciting development for SGCH and our tenants," SGCH Acting CEO Trevor Wetmore said.

"When completed in mid-2016, these units will house key workers on low to moderate incomes, workers in the local schools, healthcare workers and local retail staff. 

"We know that reducing day-to-day living costs such as energy bills can make a big difference to people on lower incomes. And the more we save on energy costs, the more SGCH can reinvest into housing services."

The CEFC and SGCH earlier this month announced a program to develop environmentally-friendly social and affordable housing projects, with $60 million in long-term senior debt from the CEFC.

The program is expected to finance the construction of more than 200 new energy efficient homes - including the Peakhurst development - as well as underpin upgrades to a proportion of SGCH's 4,300 existing older properties with energy efficient technologies.


About SGCH

SGCH is a not-for-profit community housing provider with 30 years' experience in providing housing assistance to those most in need. Recognised as one of the largest Community Housing Providers in Australia, SGCH houses over 8,300 people in 4,300 homes.

In addition to core housing services, SGCH works in partnership with Government agencies and support partners to provide a range of initiatives to improve the lives of tenants such as training, education, employment and community engagement opportunities.