19 November 2018

Morrison Government strengthens NHFIC

The Morrison Government has strengthened the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), ensuring Australia is responsive to potential demand for bond aggregator lending to provide cheaper and longer-term finance for affordable housing.

The new laws makes explicit that the Board of NHFIC must have an appropriate balance of qualifications, skills and experience in a relevant field of banking and finance, law, housing, infrastructure planning and financing, local government, and public policy, and that at least one Board member must have appropriate qualifications, skills or experience in social or affordable housing.

The Bill also provides for the statutory review of the operation of the NHFIC Act to occur after a two year period from the commencement of the Act, rather than three.

The creation of a special account for the purposes of the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator’s (AHBA) $1 billion line will bring forward planned annual appropriations for the purpose of the AHBA and allow NHFIC to redraw amounts repaid to the Commonwealth. This amendment ensures NHFIC is better placed to respond to demand from community housing providers, and also provides greater certainty over NHFIC’s available finance in future years.