Another 300 solar powered, and energy efficient homes for low-income families are set to be built in Sydney, after another $130 million in finance was committed to the cause by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation this week.
The 300 7-star NatHERS rated dwellings are being built by community housing group SGHC, as part of the NSW government’s $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund scheme, which aims to deliver 2,200 new social and affordable homes across metropolitan and regional NSW.
SGCH – one of five housing providers to be awarded new low-income housing contracts by the NSW government on Friday – is one of Australia’s largest community housing providers, whose sustainability-focused work has been backed before by the CEFC.
In an earlier project, reported here in September 2015, the CEFC loaned $40 million to SGCH to build 200 new energy efficient homes in the NSW capital.
The latest CEFC loan means SGCH can build a mix of affordable housing units in south and south-western Sydney, with features including improved insulation, LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, smart meters and rooftop solar.
The group’s efforts will focus on areas including Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River, Liverpool, Fairfield, Cumberland and Parramatta.
“This finance is a game changer,” said GCH CEO Scott Langford. “It enables us to build beyond the minimum building standard required and deliver energy efficient housing that is sustainable and reduces energy costs for the tenants.
“The finished dwellings will demonstrate the long-term benefits for the people of NSW, with sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes,” Langford said.
Victoria Adams, the CEFC’s community and affordable housing lead, said the green bank’s combined commitment to SGCH of up to $170 million marks its largest financial investment in an Australian community housing provider to date, supporting the development of approximately 500 energy efficient homes for low income families.
“Community housing is an area where innovative clean energy solutions can have an immediate impact, and lock in lower energy costs for tenants.
“The marginal additional cost of the energy efficiency investment will have long term and ongoing benefits for the tenants, particularly through lower energy bills,” Adams said.