10 March 2017
Media Release - #2017017, 2017

Turnbull Government establishes affordable housing taskforce

The Turnbull Government today announced the establishment of the Affordable Housing Implementation Taskforce, which will develop an affordable housing bond aggregator model for consideration by the Commonwealth and the States and Territories.

The Turnbull Government recognises that housing affordability remains a concern for many hard working Australians, including the 30 per cent of Australians who live in rented homes, and those who rely on affordable and social housing.

An affordable housing bond aggregator would allow a financial intermediary to attract greater private sector investment into affordable housing. This would give community housing providers access to cheaper and longer term debt, freeing up capital for the construction of new affordable housing.

An expert panel has been appointed to guide the work of the Taskforce, drawing on their broad experience from the financial, affordable housing and government sectors.

The Panel will include Mr Stephen Knight as Chair, Ms Peta Winzar and Mr John Fraser and will also engage with international and domestic experts, including those from the development sector, as necessary.

Mr Knight has extensive experience in debt capital markets through his previous roles as CEO of the Treasury Corporation in New South Wales and as a previous member of the Australian Office of Financial Management advisory board.

Ms Winzar is the current CEO of the Community Housing Industry Association, the peak body for Australia’s community housing sector and has 20 years’ experience at the senior levels of government, working across a broad range of housing issues.

Mr Fraser is the Secretary to the Treasury and will be the Government representative on the Panel. Mr Fraser has extensive experience in the financial services sector as Chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management from late 2001 to 2013.

The establishment of the Taskforce follows the recommendations of the Affordable Housing Working Group’s report which was endorsed by treasurers at the Council on Federal Financial Relations meeting in late 2016.

The Affordable Housing Working Group will report back by the middle of the year.

The Treasurer will be discussing social housing and housing affordability with the states and territories at the Council on Federal Financial Relations Affordable Housing Working Group later this month.