GROWING THE SOUTH-WEST | NHFIC announces first construction loan with community-housing provider

The National Housing Finance & Investment Corporation has announced its first construction loan to a community-housing provider, BlueCHP, at an affordable-housing site at 1-7 Anderson Avenue at Liverpool.

The $45.7-million loan will fund building at least 93 new homes in affordable-housing projects at Liverpool and Lane Cove on sites being acquired under the NSW Government's Communities Plus program.

The loan will be for two years at an interest rate below 4 per cent, which BlueCHP expects will save it more than $600,000 each year.

NHFIC will make an extra $6-million loan available upon project completion to support BlueCHP retaining 48 of those homes for providing affordable housing, including for people with disabilities.

At least 24 new social-housing dwellings will also be delivered to the NSW Land & Housing Corporation. NHFIC boss Nathan Dal Bon said providing construction finance to community-housing providers enhances their ability to increase and accelerate social-housing supply.

"In the projects we've financed to date, NHFIC has demonstrated the benefits of delivering low-cost, long-tenure financing to community-housing providers," he said. "Extending our financing into construction enables us to work with these providers to accelerate the delivery of new housing for Australians in need.

"This project demonstrates how NHFIC can work with state housing bodies to unlock sites in key areas and build much-needed rental dwellings across the full spectrum of affordable and social housing."

BlueCHP boss Charles Northcote said: "To date, community-housing providers have borrowed from commercial banks for construction.

This is the first time any community-housing provider has been able to get concessional finance for new builds.

He said it was a significant moment in BlueCHP's 11-year history and the Federal Government should be congratulated.

"I thank NHFIC chief executive Nathan Dal Bon and chairman Brendan Crotty and our legal team PaulPaxton and DanielMarks, of MinterEllison, who've worked hard on the deal."

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