Energy efficient housing limits impacts on the environment, as well as the cost of living for tenants.
Energy efficient housing limits impacts on the environment, as well as the cost of living for tenants. Image Credit: Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced a $130 million investment into community housing, as it seeks to support the construction of new community housing while ensuring the homes are built to a 7-star energy efficiency standard.

The investment in energy efficient housing is expected to be a win for both the environment as well as future residents. Investment interest from the CEFC highlights how investments in energy efficiency can lower the environmental impact of housing, with residents set to be financial beneficiaries of housing that costs less upfront, as well as on an ongoing basis.

The CEFC’s investment will total $130 million, and contributes to the $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund.

Energy efficiency to lower cost burden for tenants

Social and Affordable Housing Fund as part of New South Wales’ Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW strategy.

“The CEFC’s finance creates an opportunity for SGCH to build sustainably for the future, with energy efficiency and livability benefits designed into the homes before construction. The marginal additional cost of the energy efficiency investment will have long term and ongoing benefits for the tenants, particularly through lower energy bills.” CEFC Community and Affordable Housing lead, Victoria Adams said.

The Social and Affordable Housing Fund has an aim of establishing 2,200 new affordable homes across New South Wales. With the investment from the CEFC, the fund will ensure that 300 of the newly established homes will be built to an average 7-Star National Housing Energy Rating System (NatHERS) rating.

The announcement of new investment from the CEFC builds on top of a previous partnership with community housing provider SGCH. The CEFC previously committed $40 million towards the construction of 200 energy efficient, affordable, homes.

“This finance is a game changer. Our tenants will be able to manage their electricity costs using the latest clean energy solutions, while living in well-located, sustainable and affordable housing,” SGCH CEO Scott Langford said.

“The finance we’ve arranged with the CEFC enables us to build beyond the minimum building standard required and deliver energy efficient housing that is sustainable and reduces energy costs for the tenants.

Federal focus on community housing

News of the investment in community housing from the CEFC coincides with an announcement from Treasurer Scott Morrison of a wider commitment to community housing by the Federal Government.

In announcing an affordable housing taskforce, tasked with the design of an “affordable housing bond aggregator”, the Treasurer is seeking the greater involvement of private investment into affordable housing.

“An affordable housing bond aggregator would allow a financial intermediary to attract greater private sector investment into affordable housing. This would give community housing providers access to cheaper and longer term debt, freeing up capital for the construction of new affordable housing.” A statement from the Treasurer’s office said.

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