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.
Investing in key worker affordable housing
One of the ways we are investing for strong long-term returns for our members, and also making a positive impact in the community, is by investing in key 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.
To address the chronic shortage of affordable rental housing, we work with governments, community housing providers and developers to explore 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 facilitating developments by acquiring completed stock at a discount to prevailing market prices and purchasing zoned residential development sites at attractive rates to develop units, potentially 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?
To date, we have secured apartments in 10 locations for affordable housing across the Sydney suburbs of Miranda, Epping, Waterloo, Hurstville, Northmead, Showground and Liverpool the Melbourne suburbs of Moonee Ponds and Alphington, and the Perth suburb of Claremont.
Once all have been developed these properties will make available approximately 850 key worker housing units and will be rented at a 20% discount to market rent to key workers such as teachers, nurses, emergency services and social workers. We are actively pursuing further opportunities in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Canberra 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 onthe 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.
Our Epping investment is situated in Sydney’s north west, 22kms from the CBD. It is close to transport, Macquarie University, schools, two hospitals and a shopping and business precinct.
It contains 61 key worker housing units, which are almost fully leased to professionals across the health, education and law enforcement sectors.
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.
Our Hurstville investment is situated 15kms south west of Sydney’s CBD and is close to a number of primary and secondary schools, and several hospitals such as St George Hospital, Hurstville Private Hospital and Waratah Private Hospital.
The site is currently under construction and we anticipate its completion in mid-November 2019 with units expected to be available from December 2019.
Moonee Ponds, VIC
Moonee Ponds is situated approximately 7kms north west of the Melbourne CBD close to a number of primary and 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 Fawkner Private Hospital.
Our Miranda site is well-positioned in the residential suburb of Miranda, located about 24kms 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.
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.
What is key worker affordable housing?
Key worker affordable housing is accommodation for key workers who are unable to afford to pay market rents on top of general living expenses, such as travel to work, food and clothing. A key 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.
Hear from one of our members in affordable housing at Waterloo
Melissa* is a paediatric 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% reduced to market rent, she now pays $480 per week for 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 offer was referred to Melissa by the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, but you can also find out more information and apply through our partners
* Name has been changed for privacy reasons.
The investments included are accurate as at 31 March 2021.
All investments carry risk, and Aware Super does not guarantee the payment of income or performance of the investments referenced above.