Image – Canva.
  • MoU has been signed by the NHFIC to explore a women’s housing initiative
  • A woman living in rental housing would pay affordable rent to a CHP over a 10-year period
  • At the end of the period, the woman has the option to buy the housing

In a joint venture between the ACT Government and Riverview developments, Ginninderry, and Community Housing Canberra (CHC), a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) to explore a women’s housing initiative.

The MoU will allow the NHFIC, CHC, and the Ginninderry Joint Venture to develop Build-to-Rent-to-Buy proof of concept model for at-risk and vulnerable women.

Minister for Housing and Suburban Development Yvette Berry said “our government has a long held commitment to intervening where the housing market fails to price for people in our community and this MoU directly illustrates that.”

NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon said the model could be used more broadly to support vulnerable and at-risk women across Australia in the future.

“With vulnerable women’s housing needs increasingly in focus, this initiative provides a great opportunity to explore affordable pathways to home ownership for at-risk women.”

Should the pilot proceed, construction is anticipated to commence later in 2022. Image – Canva

With the Build-to-Rent-to-Buy concept, a woman living in rental housing would pay affordable rent (at 74.9% of market rent) to a community housing provider (CHP) over a 10-year period.

In that time, the woman could benefit from a savings plan, created on her behalf and potentially funded by NHFIC’s lower cost of financing combined with the CHP’s operational efficiencies.

It draws similarities to several schemes overseas whereby long-term tenants have the option to purchase public housing at a significant discount, most notably the Right to Buy program in the United Kingdom and a similar scheme in Singapore.

At the end of the period, the woman has the option to buy the housing, adjusting for her share in any capital growth, and benefit from the savings plan accumulated over 10 years.

“Through this housing initiative we aim to provide women with low-but-secure employment incomes, often with little or no deposit, with access to a safe, secure and affordable home with a built-in pathway to home ownership.

Community Housing Canberra CEO Andrew Hannan

Over the next six months the organisations will review and identify potential sites and explore an appropriate funding model to support the initiative.

It is anticipated construction could commence later this year.

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