ART of the deal: Super giant throws $150 million at solving social housing crisis

The Australian Retirement Trust will invest $150 million into helping solve the housing crisis through a unique deal with Queensland Investment Corporation and the Brisbane Housing Corporation that would initially deliver 600 homes.


Jul 25, 2022, updated Jul 26, 2022
BHC's Arbor Sherwood project

BHC's Arbor Sherwood project

The Brisbane Housing Corporation chief executive Rebecca Oelkers said the deal would change the lives of countless Queenslanders in dire housing need.

ART will effectively become an institutional investor in social housing by providing capital along with the State Government’s $1 billion housing investment fund. About 1200 homes are expected to be eventually delivered under the structure.

The expectation was that up to 1200 would start construction within the next three years. Two sites have already been located.

ART would invest up to $150 million through subordinated debt.

Under the deal, 600 houses would start construction next year and ART would invest up to $150 million through subordinated debt. The total value of all seven projects would be about $250 million.

QIC’s role as investment manager in the deal was announced last month along with asset manager, the Brisbane Housing Corporation. QIC’s role was to source institutional investors like ART, which is a fund created earlier this year through the merger of Sunsuper and QSuper.

The first two projects would be in Redcliffe and Chermside and were expected to be completed by 2024.

BHC said the first two projects had a combined construction value of $50 million and would deliver 118 new social and affordable homes for Queenslanders in housing need.

“This includes 84 homes at Redcliffe designed for seniors who are struggling to make ends meet and downsizers whose current public housing property no longer meets their needs, as well as a mixed tenure community of 34 social and affordable homes in Chermside designed for essential workers and households who are eligible for assistance through the Queensland Housing Register,” BHC said.

ART’s head of sustainable investment Nicole Bradford said the deal is the super fund’s first social issue-focussed investment since the merger.

“As one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, we’re committed to helping solve problems for our community and society while not compromising on fiduciary duty to our members and this project is an example of that,” she said.

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“We believe this investment opportunity will support more affordable housing in Queensland, while maximising the real, long-term investment returns for more than 2 million members.”

QIC Real Estate managing director Michael O’Brien said the deal created a significant opportunity for institutional investment into social and affordable housing in Queensland

BHC’s Oelkers added that the deal was also an example of how governments and institutional investors could work together to raise capital






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