Specialist affordable housing fund manager Super Housing Partnerships (SHP) launches with $240 million founding investment from HESTA
Specialist affordable housing fund manager SHP launched today, supported by founding investment partner HESTA committing $240 million to seed its first fund initially focused on developing a pipeline of Victorian build-to-rent (BTR) apartment projects.
SHP will provide institutional investors with access to equity investment in new BTR housing projects, with a focus on social and affordable housing unique to the Australian market.
HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said the Fund’s founding investment in SHP’s pipeline of BTR homes, aims to generate stable, long-term returns for members while helping catalyse an emerging investment sector.
“We have the opportunity to innovate and invest to meet an unmet need, providing our members with appropriate risk-adjusted investment returns by improving housing supply,” Ms Blakey said.
“A lack of access to housing impacts our members who provide critical services and need to afford housing near their work, and economic productivity that presents broader systemic risks to long-term investors like HESTA.”
SHP seeks to address some of the barriers to institutional investment in affordable housing at scale through an aggregator-style platform combined with specialist funds management skills, partnering with affordable and sustainable housing developers and community housing providers.
SHP will aggregate capital from institutional investors into its housing strategies. SHP’s first fund will initially develop BTR Victorian apartment projects representing potentially more than 1600 mixed-tenure dwellings blending social, affordable, market-rate and specialist disability housing.
SHP venture partner Kris Daff said: “SHP is a crucial part of the solution to the acute and growing shortage of affordable housing in Australia by providing institutional investors with the opportunity to invest in a developing portfolio of affordable projects and, in due course, completed assets.”
“There are society-wide negative impacts associated with the housing affordability crisis. It was not that long ago we were worried about how ordinary working Australians were able to purchase their first home – we have moved well beyond that to a point where the concern is now how everyday Australians can even rent a home.” Mr Daff said.
“We welcome HESTA’s significant $240 million initial investment as this commitment demonstrates the value of SHP to large institutional investors seeking real assets, while delivering vital outcomes for Australians struggling to access secure housing. SHP intends to expand its initial Victorian portfolio and is currently working with key strategic development partners for the delivery and operation of assets nationally.”
SHP’s focus is on Australian BTR housing, with a mix of affordable, social, market rate and specialist disability accommodation. This mixed-tenure approach aims to provide improved social outcomes while cross-subsidisation strengthens investment outcomes.
The tenure mix will look to support the delivery of investment returns by providing a smooth income profile, with stable rental income, high demand, and low vacancy rates, giving resilience to changing economic conditions.
SHP’s first fund will partner with Assemble, a leading affordable and sustainable housing developer and Housing Choices Australia, one of the largest nationally accredited community housing providers.
Managing Director of Housing Choices Australia, Michael Lennon said: “The SHP platform is a gamechanger and exactly what the affordable housing market in Australia needs. The vision from HESTA and the SHP team plus the commitment to work with Community Housing Providers to deliver genuine quality housing for those who need it most is unique, and very welcome.”
All SHP housing projects aim to be net zero operational carbon from day one and SHP will measure and manage impact outcomes against United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
While super funds, including HESTA have successfully invested in individual affordable housing projects in the past, there have remained barriers to scaling many of these approaches. While SHP can help address these scale challenges, improved policy settings at all levels of Government would further encourage greater institutional investment.
HESTA is pleased to support the Federal Government’s Housing Accord, and Ms Blakey is participating in this week’s investor roundtable. Ms Blakey said the investor roundtable presented an important opportunity to work with all stakeholders to improve public policy settings that, alongside initiatives like SHP, can meaningfully contribute to improving housing affordability over time.
“HESTA and SHP through establishing this unique approach have effectively built the pipes and pumps to allow institutional capital to flow towards addressing our national housing crisis,” Ms Blakey said.
“We’re now looking to work with all levels of government to address blockages that are holding back institutional investment at scale.”
HESTA is the largest superannuation fund dedicated to Australia’s health and community services sector. An industry fund that’s run only to benefit members, HESTA now has more than 950,000 members (over 80% are women) and manages over $68 billion in assets invested around the world.
Super Housing Partnerships (SHP) is a specialist affordable housing fund manager focused on increasing the housing supply through partnerships with institutional asset owners and investors.
SHP exists to provide innovative solutions to significantly increase the supply of Affordable, Sustainable and Suitable housing choices to all Australians through a unique aggregating platform.
Assemble is an end-to-end developer and operator of institutionally owned affordable build-to-rent housing. Assemble, under Managing Director Kris Daff will provide development, tenancy, and property management services to the first five projects in SHP’s first Fund.
About Housing Choices Australia (HCA)
HCA is a nationally accredited, Tier 1 community housing provider. HCA will provide tenancy management services for the social and specialist disability accommodation dwellings in the first five projects. SHP and HCA have together established a community housing provider with the Victorian Housing Registrar.