10 March 2017
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has made another landmark $130 million finance commitment to community housing provider SGCH, for the construction of 300 new energy efficient homes in Sydney.
The New South Wales Government announced today that SGCH was awarded a contract to build 300 new dwellings under the first phase of the new Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF).
The SAHF is a key component of the NSW Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW strategy that will result in more social and affordable housing dwellings linked to tailored support, to help households gain independence. The $1.1 billion SAHF is aiming to ultimately deliver 2,200 new social and affordable homes across metropolitan and regional NSW, working alongside non-government housing providers.
The CEFC finance will enable SGCH to build all its SAHF homes to a higher energy efficiency standard, with the new homes built to an average 7-Star National Housing Energy Rating System (NatHERS) rating.
CEFC Community and Affordable Housing lead, Victoria Adams said: "The CEFC's finance creates an opportunity for SGCH to build sustainably for the future, with energy efficiency and livability benefits designed into the homes before construction. The marginal additional cost of the energy efficiency investment will have long term and ongoing benefits for the tenants, particularly through lower energy bills."
The CEFC finance means the new homes are likely to include features such as improved insulation, LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, smart meters and solar installations. SGCH will build a mix of social and affordable housing units in south and south-western Sydney, delivering more sustainable, affordable housing for low to moderate income families.
SGCH, one of Australia's largest community housing providers, has already drawn on $40 million in CEFC finance in an earlier transaction, to enable the construction of some 200 energy efficient dwellings.
"Our combined commitment to SGCH of up to $170 million is our largest financial investment in an Australian community housing provider to date, supporting the development of approximately 500 energy efficient homes for low income families," Ms Adams said.
"Community housing is an area where innovative clean energy solutions can have an immediate impact, and lock in lower energy costs for tenants. We're delighted to work with SGCH and the NSW Government on this great initiative.
"We see strong potential for CEFC finance to support the construction of even more high performing homes that reduce energy costs for low income tenants in the community housing sector. We look forward to working with other community housing providers to deliver the same benefits as further projects emerge."
SGCH CEO Scott Langford said the CEFC's finance would result in well-located, sustainable and affordable housing with coordinated support to provide tenants with opportunities for social and economic participation.
"This finance is a game changer. Our tenants will be able to manage their electricity costs using the latest clean energy solutions, while living in well-located, sustainable and affordable housing," Mr Langford said.
"The finance we've arranged with the CEFC enables us to build beyond the minimum building standard required and deliver energy efficient housing that is sustainable and reduces energy costs for the tenants.
"The finished dwellings will demonstrate the long-term benefits for the people of NSW, with sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes."
The SGCH project will focus on meeting the current needs and future housing demand in areas including Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River, Liverpool, Fairfield, Cumberland and Parramatta.
Ms Adams said the CEFC's participation in the NSW government's SAFH project was another example of the CEFC's focus on delivering clean energy solutions in Australian cities, as part of its Sustainable Cities Investment Program.
*The CEFC finance was repaid in June 2020.
SGCH is a not-for-profit community housing provider with 30 years' experience in providing housing assistance to those most in need. The largest community housing provider in New South Wales, SGCH houses over 8,500 people in 4,400 homes. Community housing providers (CHPs) are registered organisations that offer subsidised rental housing for very low to moderate income households. In New South Wales, CHPs own 6,000 dwellings and manage 27,000. New South Wales has Australia's largest social housing system, with more than a third of all social housing dwellings. 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.
Media release, 2017