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Council on Federal Financial Relations Affordable Housing Working Group

Note: The issues paper was originally published on 2 February 2016

On 7 January 2016, the Australian Government announced the establishment of an Affordable Housing Working Group (the ‘Working Group’) following a request from Treasurers at the Council on Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) meeting in October 2015 for further work on housing affordability.

The Working Group focussed primarily on investigating ways to boost the supply of affordable rental housing through innovative financing models. These models are aimed at the social housing sector and the private rental market for low-income and disadvantaged households.

The Working Group undertook a public consultation process (2 February 2016 – 11 March 2016), which included a call for submissions from interested parties on innovative ways to improve the availability of affordable housing as highlighted by the attached Issues Paper.

The Working Group delivered its report, Innovative Financing Models to Improve the Supply of Affordable Housing, to Heads of Treasuries on 3 November 2016. At the CFFR meeting on 2 December 2016, Treasurers considered the Working Group’s report. Treasurers agreed to the recommendations of the report, in particular the establishment of a bond aggregator taskforce, and agreed to make the report publically available.

In the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Government announced the establishment of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), which will operate an affordable housing bond aggregator.  The Government has released a Consultation Paper on the establishment of the NHFIC.

In March 2017, the Affordable Housing Working Group was reconstituted to progress Recommendations 3 and 4 of its previous report. This report, Supporting the Implementation of an Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator, examined how existing housing policy and regulatory settings could be reformed to assist with achieving the policy outcomes desired through the implementation of a bond aggregator. The report was released on 22 September 2017.

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