This February 2016 market report from the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation highlights that There is a major shortage of social housing in Australia, with more than 200,000 approved applicants on waiting lists nationwide. Given the ongoing demand for housing assistance and the growing expectation from governments that community housing providers will play a key role in meeting that demand, there is likely to be a significant requirement for debt finance to support development and renewal programs in coming years. If 5,000 new community housing dwellings were built each year, $15 billion of investment would be required over the next ten years, through 2025.
The CEFC argues that community housing should be built to ambitious energy efficiency standards. Evidence indicates that low-income households tend to live in buildings with poorer energy efficiency, leading to higher energy costs. Poor building energy efficiency and high energy costs can have significant financial and health effects on households in community housing.
Community housing organisations have limited sources of revenue to fund new building and have generally faced challenges sourcing private finance on appropriate terms. Long-term debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation can help community housing organisations develop and renew community housing dwellings and ensure those properties are built to high standards of energy efficiency.