Construction starts on HESTA-backed BTR project by Super Housing Partnerships in Melbourne

Construction starts on HESTA-backed BTR project by Super Housing Partnerships in Melbourne

Artist's impression of the Kensington BTR project in Melbourne

Super Housing Partnerships, a Victorian-based specialist housing fund manager with assets of more than $750 million, has started construction on its first build-to-rent (BTR) apartment development at Kensington in Melbourne’s inner west, backed by $74 billion industry super fund HESTA.

The project, located at 402 Macaulay Road within the Arden-Macaulay Urban Renewal Precinct, will deliver 362 mixed-tenure apartments that will include affordable, social, market-rate, and specialist disability housing in the suburb.

It will be among a number of projects planned by Super Housing Projects in which HESTA plans to invest up to $240 million. HESTA, an industry fund for workers in health and community services, has committed more than $100 million to Kensington development.

The Super Housing Partnerships portfolio comprises 1,645 apartments across five developments in the affordable housing space in Melbourne.

The specialist fund provides institutional investors with access to equity investment in new BTR housing projects, focusing on social and affordable housing which it says is unique to the Australian market. About 20 per cent of the Kensington development will be dedicated to social housing.

The fund's BTR projects aim to provide stable, long-term returns to members through meeting community demand for affordable and social housing, which it says will also have a lasting, tangible positive social impact.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey says the Kensington project shows the potential for the superannuation industry to build partnerships across the sector to deliver innovative investment solutions to help address Australia’s housing crisis.

“Breaking ground on our inaugural build-to-rent project is a moment of great pride for HESTA and our partners,” Blakey says.

“HESTA has more than one million members primarily working in the care economy. More than 80 per cent of members are women – they will be statistically overrepresented in every one of the dire housing affordability statistics.

“This milestone propels us closer to realising our vision for how we, as a long-term responsible investor, can create strong, stable returns for our members by meeting Australia’s huge need for affordable and secure housing.”

Carolyn Viney, the CEO of Super Housing Partnerships, says the start of construction is a major step in addressing the barriers to large-scale institutional investment in affordable housing.

"As we break ground on this transformative build-to-rent housing project, we take a major step forward in reshaping the future of housing in Australia, providing secure and affordable homes for those who need it most, through an investment structure that is designed to achieve scale,” Viney says.

“In partnership with HESTA, Assemble, and Housing Choices Australia, Super Housing Partnerships is proud to be at the forefront of addressing Australia's housing affordability crisis.”

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