Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (NSW Government)
Deal: The NSW Government has established the Social and Affordable Housing Fund.
Value: $1.1 billion
Key players: Partners Peter Paradise (pictured) and Robert Nicholson, along with senior associate Nicholas Carney, led the Herbert Smith Freehills team, which also included partners Jane Hodder, Kon Mellos and Erin Wakelin.
Deal significance: The Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) is the first of its kind in Australia, and will be set up with $1.1 billion in seed capital from the NSW Government.
The fund aims to increase the supply of social and affordable housing in NSW by providing access to 3,000 dwellings.
These agreements will involve the provision of tenancy and asset management services, as well as tailored support coordination services, with a key aim to provide pathways to independence for households capable of transitioning from social, to affordable, to private housing, according to a release by HSF.
HSF was appointed by the NSW Government last December and is advising on the structure and establishment of the fund and the first phase of the procurement.
“A panel of experts from both our Australian and London offices who specialise in social housing, procurement and funds will also assist on this cutting-edge project,” Mr Paradise said.
The invitation for expressions of interest for the first phase of the procurement was released on 30 January.
SAHF will also support partnerships between the private and community sectors by providing long-term operational subsidies to bridge the funding gap between existing revenue streams and commercially viable projects, according to a release by HSF.
”The NSW Government’s willingness to consider innovative forms of financial support for social and affordable housing has the potential to significantly increase the supply and quality of social housing in NSW,” said Mr Paradise.
Mr Nicholson said HSF had been calling for governments to establish dedicated funds to support infrastructure projects since the Productivity Commission’s 2013-14 Public Infrastructure inquiry.
“There are many international models used to provide more innovative funding structures, including the European Infrastructure Bank and the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, and we are pleased that the NSW Government is following their lead in relation to social and affordable housing,” he said.