SGCH and Lighthouse scale up to $120million institutional investment to support affordable key worker housing

  • Lighthouse Infrastructure and SGCH have expanded their partnership with $61M to be provided for the acquisition of 76 apartments in Parramatta, Western Sydney for low to moderate income key workers.
  • This follows Lighthouse Infrastructure’s 2021 deal with SGCH where it provided $59m for key worker housing located at Westmead.
  • Funding model is now a proven scalable solution with the power to make a significant impact addressing Australia’s chronic affordable housing shortage.

15th November 2022 – SGCH, NSW’s largest community housing provider, has today announced that it has expanded its affordable key worker housing portfolio in partnership with specialist investment manager, Lighthouse Infrastructure (“Lighthouse”)

Expanding on the original facility, Lighthouse will provide $61M in funding to SGCH Keys, a registered charity and subsidiary of SGCH Group. The funds will be used in the acquisition of 76 apartments in Parramatta to be rented to essential workers.

This brings the total funding from Lighthouse to $120M, following the November 2021 deal where $59M was used by SGCH to acquire 85 affordable key worker properties in Westmead. The early partnership between SGCH and Lighthouse provided proof of concept that the funding model is both sustainable and scalable.

SGCH Group apply the benefits of scale from managing a portfolio of over 7000 homes across Sydney and the charitable status of SGCH Keys to access unique and efficient financing from Lighthouse that will enable key workers to rent a new high-quality affordable home.

The 76 properties are within the Lennox development completed this year by leading Sydney developer Aoyuan International and builder EQ Constructions. The development is located by the Parramatta River, and is walking distance from Parramatta Westfield, Parramatta train station, the Paramatta Tram line and multiple bus stops. It also has good access to higher education facilities in the area, with the Universities of New England, Western Sydney and Swinburne all within 1km. The tenancies will be managed by SGCH, with key worker tenants meeting the criteria of low to moderate income bands, and working in designated sectors such as emergency services, health and education.

The deal leverages SGCH’s expertise and experience as a regulated community housing provider bringing together capital and capability to create more homes and opportunities for people and communities. It also builds on Lighthouse’s success as an investor in the disability housing sector, having created Australia’s leading institutional portfolio of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) assets as part of the Federal Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Following this latest investment, Lighthouse’s portfolio of social accommodation assets is valued in excess of $350M with a total of $800M in funds under management.

Speaking about the ongoing relationship with Lighthouse, Scott Langford, CEO of SGCH commented, “Well located, affordable housing for key workers helps them stay connected to employment and community. They are the people who make our cities work and this creates great places for everyone. This expanded partnership with Lighthouse is proof that the innovative institutional funding model for affordable housing that we built just 12 months ago is scalable, sustainable and can make a lasting change to Australia’s housing supply challenge. We have pioneered the model and now we hope to see others following the path.”

“Partnerships with the private sector, and all levels of Government are essential to provide the affordable housing people and communities need. We have shown that we can make key worker housing an attractive proposition for institutional investment and with further contributions from Government we can deepen and amplify the impact for lower income households along the entire housing continuum.”

Peter Johnston, Managing Director, Lighthouse Infrastructure commented,

“We are delighted to have another opportunity to work with SGCH after last year’s successful partnership. These investments have enabled us to demonstrate a sustainable and scalable proposition with attractive risk-adjusted returns to institutional investors.

We are also very pleased to be working with private sector developers to bring well located affordable and quality housing to the rental market. Parramatta is an important area for social infrastructure, so this well-located affordable housing brings great economic benefits as it connects people with employment and education opportunities.

This funding model has proven it is scalable, but we know it can be scaled even further for the institutional investor market with other community housing partners. This is just the beginning.”

Adrian Liaw, Head of Development Australia, Aoyuan International adds

“This presents a fantastic opportunity for the broader community for which we are proud to be involved. Hopefully, this marks a long-term relationship with SGCH and Lighthouse.
We are confident the key workers renting from SGCH will find The Lennox a place where they can enjoy the most modern of designs and comfort.”