13 May 2016 

Calls for expression of interest for State Government housing program 

Earlier this year, the NSW Government launched a new funding initiative to develop an additional 3000 social and affordable homes. 

The $1 billion Social Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) will deliver additional funding and services over two funding rounds. 

Expressions of interest for the first round of funding have closed and potential participants have been identified. 

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) understands that the process has created difficulties for Aboriginal Community Housing Providers (ACHPs) and Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs). 

Specifically, ACHPs and LALCs have found it difficult to participate directly in the program so outcomes for LALCs and members have not been maximised.

 

Present position and request 

Despite the apparent lack of clarity around how the network can participate, there is an opportunity for LALCs to: 

  • Explore participation via a partnership with existing short-listed applicants, a number of which have expressed a desire to build a relationship, and or 
  • Wait for stage 2 of the SAHF program and develop longer-term partnership structures or a direct bid

 

In order to participate In Stage 1, the Network would need to explore how LALCs could partner with short-listed consortiums led by a Community Housing Provider (CHP). 

LALCs would need to have available residential lands or approved land dealings for residential development (or potential residential developments).                                                                                                                                                              

At this stage NSWALC is only exploring the partnership possibilities. LALCs would need to consider the economic, social and cultural impact of any such partnership. The network needs to explore and develop the partnership structure and understand the benefits for all stakeholders. 

It would appear however, that LALC residential-zoned land could be utilised for development of affordable social housing, supported by the SAHF program. 

This would deliver long-term rental accommodation and home purchase opportunities above that currently contemplated by respective land dealing plans. 

This has the potential of delivering better outcomes for members and would be partly funded by the NSW Government. 

At this stage, NSWALC is seeking LALCs' willingness to explore this opportunity. 

NSWALC would act as an initial intermediary on behalf of the LALC. Interested LALCs should consider 

  • If they agree to participate with NSWALC to explore further opportunities for SAHF participation. (Any actual dealing/partnership would be at the discretion of the participating LALC) 
  • Evaluating current and/or potential residential land development under consideration; i.e. lot development size, number of lots proposed 

 

If LALCs are interested in joining an existing short-listed SAHF bid, we would need to act urgently given short-listed bidders are expected to have finalised the structure of their bid within the next four weeks. 

It is likely that LALCs with land that is ready for subdivision will have greater attraction for this funding and partnership opportunity. 

But the starting point for broader development is to ensure that we are at the table and secure agreement from successful SAHF applications to collaborate and develop solutions. 

If you have any particular queries please contact Deputy Chief Executive Officer Malcom Davis on 0438 434 007 or at malcolm.davis@alc.org.au