CBus Property, the national construction industry superannuation fund, confirmed it has been “feeling out” a State Government led social housing scheme, which could see it retain full ownership of social housing projects, after contributing just 25 per cent of the land and development costs.
The balance of costs will be picked up by the Government, which has allocated $300 million, and expects to reap more than 1550 new affordable rental units from the initiative.
“If there are enough flexible parameters and everybody involved was open to finding financial ways to make it work, then I believe it could work” said Chris Kakoufas, general manager of development with CBus Property, one of the first developers to throw its support behind the initiative. “We haven’t seen enough detail yet though to say categorically whether we’ll proceed.”
R.Corporation, which recently paid about $7 million for a development site across the road from a public housing block of flats in Buncle Street North Melbourne, is also understood could take advantage of the initiative, according to sources. The Age could not contact managing director Andrew Rettig for comment.
Any government funding deal is conditional on a developer teaming with one of seven housing associations authorised to build, and manage public housing projects. The initiative steers Australia in the direction of the UK-model, where more than £38 billion of private investment has been spent on public housing projects since the late 1990s.