AustralianSuper has entered Australia’s emerging built-to-rent (BTR) sector, with a cornerstone investment in Melbourne-based developer Assemble Communities.

Australia’s largest industry super fund has purchased a 25% stake in the BTR company for an undisclosed sum, paving the way for the super fund to invest in Assemble Communities’ pipeline of projects.

The first project AustralianSuper is investing in is Assemble’s 198-unit development, now underway in Melbourne’s inner north-western suburb of Kensington.

Apart from the Kensington project, the ten-year-old developer has acquired a landbank to provide ongoing projects.

AustralianSuper bought its first multifamily asset in Florida in the US in 2018.

AustralianSuper’s head of property, Bevan Towning, said he expected the investment to provide good long-term returns for members, while also addressing a significant social issue.

“Assemble Communities’ approach to affordable housing development aligns with our belief that all Australians should have dignity in retirement,” he said.

Assemble Communities managing director, Kris Daff said: “With AustralianSuper acquiring a cornerstone investment in our platform, we are primed to take advantage of market opportunities and to deliver on our mission of providing fair housing options for generations of Australians.

“Assemble now has the ability to scale to meet market demand for affordable housing and build-to-rent opportunities.”

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