Build-to-rent-to-buy initiative launched for at-risk women

LONDON: A breakthrough social housing initiative to explore pathways to home ownership for at-risk and vulnerable women has been unveiled.

The innovative concept is aimed at developing a build-to-rent-to-buy model to provide women with the ability to transition from renting to ownership.

It will involve the identification of potential sites in the Australian Capital Territory and investigate an appropriate funding model.

If the pilot proceeds, construction could begin later this year and eventually lead to creating a potentially generational impact for vulnerable and at-risk women and their families throughout Australia.

The launch of the initiative follows the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) partnering with Ginninderry —a joint venture between the ACT Government’s Suburban Land Agency and Riverview Developments—and community housing provider Community Housing Canberra.

Through a signed memorandum of understanding, it will spearhead the collaborative development of a build-to-rent-to-buy proof-of-concept model over the next six months.

Housing and Suburban Development minister Yvette Berry said the initiative supported the ACT government’s commitment to putting housing first for those that need it in the community.

“Our government has a long-held commitment to intervening where the housing market fails to provide for people in our community,” she said. “I am excited to see the new opportunities that this collaboration will bring for this part of the community housing sector.”

NHFIC chief executive Nathan Dal Bon said vulnerable women’s housing needs were increasingly in focus and the initiative offered a great opportunity to explore affordable pathways to home ownership for at-risk women.

“We’re particularly excited that this bold initiative puts NHFIC at the forefront of housing finance innovation and could be leveraged more broadly to support vulnerable and at-risk women across Australia,” he said.

Community Housing Canberra chief executive officer Andrew Hannan said they received new inquiries every day from women of all ages.

“It’s fantastic to think that we can better address this this massive unmet demand.”

Ginninderry project director Stephen Harding said the partnership was a great opportunity to continue the joint venture’s commitment to creating environmental, economic and social benefits for the community.

“More importantly, we are pleased to partner with NHFIC and CHC to investigate how Ginninderry can assist in providing housing security for at-risk women.”

Under a build-to-rent-to-buy scheme a woman living in rental housing would pay affordable rent (at 74.9 per cent of market rent) to a community housing provider over a 10-year period, at the end of which she has the option to buy the home, adjusting for her share in any capital growth, and also benefitting from a savings plan created on her behalf.