Investing in positive social outcomes.
Social and Sustainability bonds
Social bonds raise funds for new and existing projects with positive social outcomes.
Sustainability bonds are bonds where the proceeds will be exclusively applied to finance or re-finance a combination of both green and social projects.
By issuing social and sustainability bonds, Housing Australia provides registered community housing providers (CHPs) with low-cost long-term loans for social and affordable housing through the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA).
Our work facilitates and delivers programs to enable a sustainable community housing sector and helps our community housing partners better provide social and affordable housing for their tenants.
Our bonds are aligned to our Sustainability Bond Framework and receive assurance by Ernst & Young.
Housing Australia's Sustainability Bond Framework is aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and International Capital Market Association's principles and guidelines.
How we work
Housing Australia’s Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA) business aggregates funding requirements from community housing providers (CHPs) and finances them primarily by issuing long-term social and sustainability bonds. The bonds are guaranteed by the Australian Government and have a AAA (stable) credit rating from Standard and Poor’s. The net proceeds of the bond issuance are used to provide loans to registered CHPs.
The AHBA uses this ‘pass-through’ model to provide concessional financing to CHPs at lower-cost and longer-term compared to traditional sources of funding.
This assists CHPs by providing greater funding certainty and lowering finance costs, which enables CHPs to expand their operations and increase the supply of affordable housing. The issuance of social and sustainability bonds also facilitates greater private and institutional investment in the sector.
To support the AHBA, the Australian Government has provided a $1 billion line of credit that Housing Australia may use to advance initial loans to CHPs prior to issuing bonds. Loans financed by the line of credit will subsequently be refinanced by Housing Australia issuing a social or sustainability bond when there is sufficient scale to access Australian debt capital markets.
The bond aggregator model has international precedent. It is currently used in countries such as the UK where it operates as a tried, tested and successful means of providing efficient finance for social and affordable housing.
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Awards and recognition
- Housing Australia's second bond of $315 million (issued in November 2019) was awarded 'Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year' in The Asset's Triple A Infrastructure Awards 2020.
- Housing Australia was recognised by financial publication KangaNews as the 2019 Australian Government-Sector Issuer of the Year.
Social and Sustainability bond issuances
By issuing Social and Sustainability bonds Housing Australia is able to deliver on our purpose of:
Strengthening efforts to increase the supply of housing
Encouraging investment in housing (particularly in the affordable housing sector)
Providing finance, grants or investments that complement, leverage or support Commonwealth, state or territory activities relating to housing
Contributing to the development of the scale, efficiency and effectiveness of the community housing sector in Australia.
Bond issuances to date
Since March 2019, Housing Australia has issued over A$2.6 billion in social bonds and sustainability bonds.
Housing Australia has issued seven bonds:
|Volume||ESG Bond type||Tenor||Initial issue date|
|Bond 1||A$350m||Social||10 years||28 March 2019|
|Bond 2||A$315m||Social||10.5 years||27 November 2019|
|Bond 3||A$695m||Social||12 years||29 June 2020|
|Bond 4||A$435m||Sustainability||15 years||2 June 2021|
|Bond 5||A$362m||Social||10 years||15 June 2021|
|Bond 6||A$100m||Social||10 years||15 June 2021|
|Bond 7||A$422m||Sustainability||15 years||8 November 2023|
Social Bond Reports
Housing Australia's Social Bond Reports provide information on the use of proceeds from Housing Australia’s social and sustainability bond issuances and demonstrates the impact that its transformative financing is achieving in improving housing outcomes. The reports form a key disclosure requirement under Housing Australia’s Sustainability Bond Framework.
Sustainability Bond Framework
Housing Australia has developed a Sustainability Bond Framework aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) Social Bond Principles (SBPs), Green Bond Principles (GBPs) and Sustainability Bond Guidelines (SBGs).
The Framework are governed by ICMA’s four core principles:
- The use of proceeds of bond issuances
- The process for evaluation and selection of AHBA loans financed or refinanced by the bond
- The management of the bond proceeds
- The form of reporting Housing Australia will undertake.
Download the Sustainability Bond Framework here.
Housing Australia follows market best practice by submitting the Framework and its processes for external verification by an independent assurance provider.
Ernst & Young provides pre-issuance and post-issuance assurance to confirm that Housing Australia’s social and sustainability bonds are, in all material aspects, in accordance with Housing Australia’s Sustainability Bond Framework.
The annual post-assurance statement is included in Housing Australia's Social Bond Report released annually in October.
Pre-Issuance Assurance Statements
Refer to the Social Bond Reports for Post-Issuance Assurance Statements.
Housing Australia Debt Issuance Program.
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