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NSW government advised on second phase of housing fund

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NSW government advised on second phase of housing fund

NSW Parliament house

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the NSW state government on the second phase of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund, while Corrs Chambers Westgarth advised the successful tender bidder SGCH Portfolio Ltd on its $150 million bid. 

Firm: Herbert Smith Freehills (NSW government), Corrs Chambers Westgarth (SGCH Portfolio Ltd).

Deal: The Department of Family and Community Services was advised on the successful completion of four transactions that will comprise Phase 2 of the over $1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund.

This follows the completion of the first phase of SAHF in March 2017, on which HSF also advised.

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Value: $150 million

Area: Infrastructure

Key players: Herbert Smith Freehills partner Nicholas Carney led a cross-practice team, with support from partner Erin Wakelin and executive counsel Amelia Fleming.

They were assisted by senior associates Alanna Lofthouse, Kimberly Lean, Laura Ferraro, solicitors Stephanie Purcell, Lan Wei, Clare Brennan, Arnica Mullins, graduate Max Turner, and paralegal Cecilia Ngu.

Corrs' team was led by partners Andrew Chew and Rommel Harding-Farrenberg alongside special counsel Megan Russell. Assistance was provided by partners Natalie Bryant and Mark Payne, with senior associate Catherine Bray, associate Jennifer Gamble, and graduate lawyers Cristina Beretta and Blake Osmond. 

Deal significance: “It has been a privilege to continue advising on the NSW government’s commitment to deliver social and affordable housing across the state,” Mr Carney said.

“We are incredibly proud of completing complex transactions with four selected service providers in a short space of time to bring SAHF Phase 2 to life. We demonstrated that we are market leaders in the social and affordable housing space by providing expert advice on unique policy and commercial problems, as well as managing multiple streams of documents, negotiations and contract completions.”

Ms Lofthouse added that one of the firm’s priorities was to facilitate cooperation and partnerships between the service providers and the government.

“To achieve this cooperation, we worked closely with FACS and NSW Treasury to design and coordinate a collaborative, transparent and efficient procurement process,” she said.

“We are thrilled to have partnered with the NSW government for a second time on the SAHF program and look forward to working closely with the NSW government in the future.”

SGCH Portfolio Ltd is a subsidiary of St George Community Housing Ltd, according to a Corrs statement. 

As part of the tender, SGCH will deliver 260 homes across Alexandria, Bondi Junction, Newtown, Petersham, Riverwood and Liverpool by the end of 2022. 

Corrs noted that all new households will be connected to support services and provide opportunities to access employment, training, and education. 

SGCH Group CEO Scott Langford commented on the deal, noting that “SGCH has worked together with partners including Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the City of Sydney to access well located sites and include dedicated housing for vulnerable households including older single women, women (and children) experiencing domestic and family violence, Aboriginal people and people experiencing or at risk of homelessness".

"We will connect these 260 new households with support services and unparalleled opportunities to access employment, training and education services," he continued. 

“We have also worked closely with Corrs on this and a number of transactions and successful tenders and their team’s commercially aware advice and guidance, looking to innovate to our benefit whenever possible, has been invaluable,” Mr Langford said. 

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