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A blue house

Affordable housing: working towards a sustainable future with CHL

May 1, 2024
December 11, 2023

A secure and affordable home is a foundation for wellbeing, particularly in a cost of living crisis. Community Housing Limited is making affordable and sustainable homes available to those in need, with support from Bank Australia’s impact lending business.

Community Housing Limited (CHL) is one of the largest not for profit community housing providers in Australia, and manages over 11,000 properties across the country.

CHL has been a customer with Bank Australia for nearly a decade, and the organisation is focused on providing housing for low and middle income earners, people with disability and people experiencing vulnerability. In some cases, CHL manages leases for social housing, while at other times the homes they own are rented or sold on the private market.

CHL’s Chief Finance Officer, Gavin Potter, says access to housing is an issue that cuts across a range of social and environmental priorities, as a secure home is a fundamental to achieving wellbeing – at an individual and community level.  

“There are broad socio-economic impacts of giving people the stability that comes with living in an affordable home,” says Gavin.

“Broadly as a society we care about issues like the environment, education, health and other measures of wellbeing, but you can’t even begin to address those issues if people don’t have a safe and secure roof over their heads.”

Sustainable affordable housing

CHL also recognises the intersection between environmental and social benefits that can be delivered though housing, such as the potential cost savings that come from renewable energy. In South Australia 13 new homes were recently built with this in mind, and all have solar panels and high energy efficiency ratings.

Gavin says that in addition to reducing the carbon footprint of these homes, owner-occupiers and tenants are expected to save around $714 per year on their energy bills compared with a standard home.

With a cost of living crisis hitting pockets across Australia, the intersection of affordable and sustainable housing has never been more important. CHL is playing an important role in confronting a range of social and environmental issues through their work, and have big plans for scaling up in future.  

Disability housing – responding to demand

“Our biggest challenge as an organisation is responding to the demand that exists for social and affordable housing, as well as other types of housing like specialist disability accommodation,” says Gavin.

“Working with Bank Australia has really helped us expand the supply of housing to meet this significant demand,” says Gavin.

Our Sustainability Bond helps fund loans for CHL and others who are committed to delivering accessible and affordable housing.

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