Where we invest

Community housing

Community Housing

The CEFC invests in the construction of market-leading energy efficient community housing, extending the benefits of clean energy to low-income families.

Australia has an estimated 88,000 community housing dwellings, with the sector expected to experience strong growth to address long waiting lists from approved applicants.

Community housing organisations typically have limited sources of revenue to fund new building and have generally faced challenges sourcing private finance. Lending has tended to be short-term, which is mismatched with typically long-lived housing assets. The CEFC is closing the funding gap by providing accessible long-term finance for energy efficient community developments, to benefit owners and tenants.

WATCH: Energy efficient community housing



CEFC finance for energy efficient community housing offers benefits including:

  • Helping low income tenants cut their energy consumption and reduce costs
  • Providing capital to a sector which has historically struggled to raise funding
  • Providing eligible projects with access to long-term 10-year finance
  • Providing finance which can be used to complement funding or finance sourced from other state government initiatives or co-financiers
  • Meeting high community demand for affordable housing
  • Accelerating Australia's move towards a lower carbon economy 





Finance to St George Community Housing for approximately 500 energy efficient homes with an average 7-star NatHERS rating.



CEFC initiative spurs development of 1000 energy efficient homes for low income families




1. Who is eligible for finance?

The CEFC Community Housing Program will accept applications from:

  • community housing providers or associations
  • faith providers
  • property developers (if partnering with a community housing provider)
  • state governments
  • statutory corporations
  • other organisations or consortiums seeking to develop, build and manage energy efficient community housing in Australia.


2. How does the CEFC's Community Housing Program relate to other community housing initiatives such as the NSW Government's Social and Affordable Housing Fund, Communities Plus, NDIS and Renewal SA?

The CEFC's financing is designed to complement other government initiatives. Applicants who are seeking funding support under these or other initiatives are welcome to apply for CEFC finance for energy efficient community housing projects.

We will partner with applicants who are seeking support under these government initiatives, but we will not deal exclusively with any one participant during a competitive bid process.


3. Why is the Clean Energy Finance Corporation financing community housing?

This program is designed to significantly improve the energy efficiency of new social and affordable housing. It reflects the CEFC's Investment Mandate which requires us to focus on supporting energy efficiency in the built environment.


4. What energy efficiency standard does my project have to meet?

New community housing must be built to either a 7-star NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) rating or one NatHERS star above the current state minimum requirement, whichever is higher.

The rating requirement will be applied as an average across the development.


5. How does the Tenancy Sustainability Account work?

For each loan, a portion of the CEFC's lending margin will be assigned to a Tenancy Sustainability Account to be spent by the applicant on sustainability initiatives that directly benefit tenants of existing community dwellings in the applicant's asset portfolio.

Initiatives that directly benefit tenants could include insulation, draught-proofing, LED lighting upgrades, energy efficient whitegoods, solar panels and smart meters.


6. Is there a minimum size for a loan under this initiative?

Yes, the minimum loan size is $15 million. A single loan could cover a number of separate housing developments.


7. Can I apply for a loan for an existing pipeline of community housing developments?

Yes. If you already have a pipeline of community housing developments with a construction period spanning no more than 3 years which can be designed to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards, you can consolidate the projects for the purposes of the loan application.


8. I have a proposal to build community housing. How do I apply for a CEFC loan?

Please send an email with your contact information to communityhousing@cefc.com.au.

We will email you a Confidentiality Deed and a Request for Information (RFI) document. The RFI will ask you for a summary of your project, details of the parties, project milestones, and some basic financial information about the project.

Please return your completed documents as soon as possible.


9. Will CEFC provide construction finance or a term facility?

CEFC would be pleased to provide either or both types of funding subject to its investment criteria and the project meeting the stipulated energy efficiency standard.


10. How will my application be assessed?

The CEFC's investment approval process is designed to ensure that projects are thoroughly assessed for commercial viability.

After you have sent us your Confidentiality Deed and completed Request for Information document, we will contact you to discuss the next steps.

We will keep you up-to-date with the progress of our internal evaluation process, and we will work to meet your required timetable.

Project sponsors whose projects satisfy the CEFC's investment criteria will be advised as soon as possible.


11. How will interaction between project sponsors and the CEFC be managed?

Most interaction will be by email, with regular meetings with the CEFC Community Housing team likely as applications progress.


12. Will the CEFC provide finance for community housing that does not meet the energy efficiency standard?

No. The CEFC Community Housing Program is designed to ensure that community housing is built to high levels of energy efficiency, leading to carbon savings and lower costs for tenants.


13. Where can I get more information about the CEFC Community Housing initiative?

For all enquiries about the CEFC Community Housing initiative, or to request a meeting with the CEFC team, please email communityhousing@cefc.com.au.