Sefa and LMCF to combat Victoria's affordable housing crisis

Social Enterprise Finance Australia (Sefa) and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF) have joined forces to establish a new social impact fund that seeks to address the homelessness and affordable housing crisis in Victoria. The announcement was made at the LMCF’s Inspiring Philanthropy event, held today at Zinc, in Federation Square, Melbourne.

As Australia’s leading social enterprise investor, Sefa will contribute its financial knowledge and processes. The LMCF will invest $3 million in Sefa, which will be disbursed to selected affordable housing development projects throughout Victoria. The idea for the fund was generated out of the LMCF’s Affordable Housing Think Tank held in October 2012, and further investigation into the need for intermediaries and alternative financial models to address the housing shortage.

Homelessness in Australia has increased by 8% in the past five years, with almost 105,250 people living without safe and secure housing. According to the 2011 census, 60% of them were under the age of 35, and 16% are less than 12 years old.

Achieving positive social impact

The fund will concentrate on affordable housing developments in Victoria. The LMCF and Sefa will select applications that demonstrate a genuine added value for both the state’s homeless and local communities.

Ben Gales CEO of Sefa says, “Sefa, like LMCF, strive to achieve positive sustainable social impact. We are building a strong track record through our financial support of community organisations in areas such as crisis accommodation, social housing, and affordable housing. We are excited to be collaborating with LMCF, a mission aligned partner, to bring a new innovative approach to create affordable housing solutions and help address one Victoria’s biggest social challenges.”

Catherine Brown, CEO of LMCF says, “It makes sense for a foundation to begin to align its investment strategy with its mission. Through the Affordable Housing Loan Fund we want to maximise our impact on increasing the supply of affordable housing in Australia. This is one of the leading causes of homelessness. We look forward to innovative projects coming forward and other impact investors joining us in this work with Sefa.”

Media ReleasesMia Lumb