Cbus calls on government to build investment structures for affordable housing

7 April 2016

Access to affordable and secure housing is an important part of ensuring a dignified and comfortable retirement.

Cbus CEO, David Atkin, said “Superannuation funds can, and should, play a role in helping to improve the supply of affordable housing for Australians through funds investing in this area; however Government needs to help build the structures to facilitate this.”

In a submission to Federal Treasury, Cbus encourages the Government to help establish structures to facilitate affordable housing bonds that could be used to help finance much needed housing stock. Cbus recommends a large intermediary aggregator that would issue bonds to investors and finance large-scale affordable housing providers.

If established, these bonds could provide a mechanism to deliver more competitive and longer-term financing to housing providers. Affordable housing bonds could also provide appropriate scale and liquidity to institutional investors which are factors that have held back large scale investment in this area.

A degree of Government support may be needed to help establish a feasible market; however these bonds would be attractive to long term investors such as Cbus and would potentially help to address aspects of the affordable housing issue.

“We understand that Government assistance is not (and should not) be given lightly; however we believe that it would be appropriate and beneficial for this important public policy area. Experience from overseas has shown that government support has been invaluable in establishing flows of capital into new markets such as these” said Mr Atkin.

See copies of the Cbus submission and others.