Super is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, so it’s important to understand where your money is invested and why we make the investment choices we do on your behalf.

As one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds we are committed to earning strong long-term returns for our members. But we are also determined to be a force for good, by investing in projects and businesses that are sustainable, create jobs, foster innovation and contribute positively to the communities where our members live, work and retire.

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What is essential worker affordable housing?

Essential worker affordable housing is accommodation for essential workers who are unable to afford market rents for housing. An essential worker is anyone who is employed in essential industries like health care, education, emergency services and law enforcement. Many of our members belong to these key sectors in the community.

Investing in essential worker affordable housing

One of the ways we are delivering strong long-term returns for our members, and making a positive impact in the community, is by investing in essential worker affordable housing.

The availability of affordable rental housing is a growing challenge for many in the community. As demand steadily outstrips supply, more and more people face a long commute between home and work. This is particularly true for our members who are key workers in service occupations such as health, education, policing and emergency services, and who often need to relocate or travel long distances to their places of employment. They are also often required to work at short notice or do shift work, which makes the problem worse.

To address the chronic shortage of affordable rental housing, we work with governments, community housing providers, and developers to explore and develop attractive opportunities.

For example, the weakness we’ve seen in the residential unit market caused by a short-term over-supply of units, a credit crunch caused by tighter lending standards and government policy, and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in opportunities to buy residential stock in bulk at attractive discounts to prevailing market prices. We have also been exploring other opportunities to invest through the cycle, including purchasing zoned residential development sites at attractive rates to develop units, taking advantage of government and zoning incentives.

Increasing, the availability of affordable accommodation goes to the heart of our goal of making a difference in the communities where our members live, work, and retire, while also providing an attractive return for our members.

Where are we investing in key worker affordable housing?

Aware Super has grown its essential worker affordable housing portfolio to 15 projects across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra.

Once all have been developed, these properties will make available more than 1800 units, most of which will be rented at a 20% discount to market rent to essential workers such as teachers, nurses, emergency services and social workers. We are actively pursuing further opportunities across Australia as we seek to grow our affordable housing portfolio.

What's in it for our members?

Returns will come from the rent received from tenants, combined with the potential capital growth on the value of apartments.

These locations are high employment areas for those working in health, education, law enforcement and emergency services, making these investments especially relevant to Aware Super members, many of whom work in these sectors.

Epping, NSW

Our Epping investment is situated in north-west Sydney, 22 kilometres from the CBD. It is close to transport, Macquarie University, schools, two hospitals and a shopping and business precinct.

It contains units which are leased to professionals, primarily across the health, education and law enforcement sectors.

Waterloo, NSW

Our Waterloo investment is close to schools and globally recognised universities, as well as hospitals such as the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and the Prince of Wales Hospital.

Approximately three quarters of the units at the Waterloo site have now been leased to professionals across the health, law enforcement and emergency services sectors.

Hear from one of our members in affordable housing at Waterloo

Melissa*is a pediatric nurse working at a children’s hospital in Sydney’s East. She has recently taken up residency in an apartment at our Waterloo site. Moving from Parramatta, this means her commute to and from work has drastically reduced by over an hour a day if she takes public transport and over 30 mins if she drives for late shifts.

Other apartments in the area were simply too expensive for Melissa. But with a 20% reduction to market rent, she now enjoys her beautiful apartment, fully equipped with all whitegoods, air-conditioning, heating and a balcony.

Melissa is delighted with her unit and the proximity to her work: “I can’t emphasise enough how much this means to me – to have my own place that is affordable, close to work and safe”.

She also loves that it’s in a good position, with a nice aspect and that it is relatively quiet, for its central location.

The opportunity was referred to Melissa by the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, but you can also find out more information and apply through our partners Evolve Housing.

* Name has been changed for privacy reasons.

Hurstville, NSW

Our Hurstville investment is situated 15 kilometres south-west of Sydney’s CBD and is close to primary and secondary schools, and several hospitals such as St George Hospital, Hurstville Private Hospital and Waratah Private Hospital.

Moonee Ponds, VIC

Moonee Ponds is situated approximately seven kilometres north-west of the Melbourne CBD, close to primaryand secondary schools, several university campuses, including RMIT, Monash University and the University of Melbourne, as well as several medical service providers and hospitals, including the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Children's Hospital and John Hospital Melbourne.

Miranda, NSW

Our Miranda site is well-positioned in the residential suburb of Miranda, located about 24 kilometres south of Sydney’s CBD. It is close to transport, shopping centres, beaches, primary schools, high schools, and hospitals such as Sutherland Hospital, Kareena Private Hospital and President Private Hospital.

Claremont WA

75 recently completed, high-quality units in Claremont, WA, with excellent transport infrastructure, connectivity to the Perth CBD, and major employment nodes and proximity to major schools and social infrastructure. These are provided as key worker housing units, which are offered at a 20% discount to the market rental rate, to meet demand from essential public service workers who would benefit from the proximity to major health facilities and schools.

The project is 3km from the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and has 13 primary and secondary schools located in the Claremont locality.

These investments are accurate as at February 2022.

All investments carry risk, and Aware Super does not guarantee the payment of income or performance of the investments referenced above.