Sustainable Development

Victorian Social and Affordable Housing

Australia has an inadequate supply of stable, appropriate, and affordable accommodation, particularly for those on low incomes.

Not having secure and appropriate accommodation is often a barrier to educational attainment, stable work, strong health and wellbeing, and family and community relationships.

In the past few decades, Australia’s housing landscape has changed significantly, worsening this situation:

  • House prices are rising at a faster rate than incomes1;
  • The cost of renting has risen at twice the rate of wages2; and
  • The proportion of total stock designated as social housing stock has fallen to less than 5%3.

1 Australia’s welfare series no. 12. Cat. no. AUS 189.
2 Yates, J., Milligan, V. (2007) Housing affordability: a 21st century problem, AHURI Final Report No. 105, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited, Melbourne, p9.
3 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Housing assistance in Australia 2014. Cat. no. HOU 275. Canberra: AIHW, p23.

Social and affordable housing apartment building in Melbourne  |  Image credit: Aspect Property Photography
Social and affordable housing apartment building in Melbourne | Image credit: Aspect Property Photography

How do we address this challenge?

In July 2021, we began funding the acquisition of social and affordable housing under a unique partnership with the Victorian Government and community housing association, HousingFirst.

Under this partnership, we will invest approximately $150 million to fund the acquisition of up to 307 apartments for social and affordable housing tenants.

The properties are headleased to HousingFirst, who subleases them to tenants on the social housing waitlist. Where appropriate, HousingFirst coordinates wraparound supports with partnering support agencies.

Properties are located in high amenity suburbs close to services and economic hubs. Apartments are dispersed within large apartment buildings, with no more than 20% of each building being designated as social and affordable housing.

With government playing a key enabling role, the model unlocks institutional scale private capital to generate new social and affordable housing stock.

Impact achieved to date

To date, CIM has financed a total of 260 new social and affordable apartments across 18 buildings in Victoria.

192 of these apartments have settled and are fully occupied.

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