Australia’s largest super fund AustralianSuper has increased its exposure to build-to-rent-to-own housing projects with additional funding to a $920m (€609m) development in Melbourne, through the Assemble Futures platform.

AustralianSuper, which holds a 25% stake in community housing company Assemble, is investing more than A$364m of the A$405m equity required to advance the platform’s objective.

The capital will be deployed to acquire and develop three sites across the Melbourne inner-city suburbs of Brunswick, Coburg and Footscray.

The latest phase of AustralianSuper’s involvement came after successful completion of an Assemble pilot project in another inner Melbourne suburb of Kensington in 2022.

It was the first in the Assemble Futures pipeline to receive equity investment from AustralianSuper.

AustralianSuper subsequently committed to 171 apartments in Brunswick before agreeing to support the latest programme to Assemble Futures homes in central Melbourne to add 1,000 apartments, bringing the total portfolio to 1,500.

AustralianSuper head of property, Bevan Towning, said: “Through the unique Assemble Futures model, AustralianSuper is helping provide more Australians with an important pathway to home ownership while delivering on our purpose to help members achieve their best financial position in retirement.”

The fund will receive rental payments from residents while they are renting and, upon sale of the apartments, it will receive a lump sum payment.

Assemble managing director, Kris Daff, said AustralianSuper’s renewed commitment “is an important step forward as we bring our mission – to tackle the ongoing affordable housing challenges and to support more people into home ownership – to life”.

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