AXA IM Alts has launched its Australian build-to-rent (BTR) strategy and has teamed up with National Housing Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC), an Australian government agency and a leading community housing provider.

AXA IM Alts has not disclosed its financial commitment, but sources told IPE Real Assets that the French investor intends to invest up to A$300m (€195m) to develop hundreds of affordable homes.

NHFIC will provide a A$300m facility to the partnership which expects to deliver around 350 mixed-tenure social and affordable dwellings in Westmead, in Sydney’s West.

Work on the housing is expected to start mid-next year, with completion scheduled for mid-2025. St George Community Housing (SGCH) will manage the portfolio.

“This transaction and the launch of AXA IM Alts Australia’s build-to-rent strategy allows us to extend our global residential conviction and leverage our track record in the sector to meet the long-term investment requirements of our investors,” said Antoine Mesnage, head of Australia at AXA IM Alts.

Mesnage said: “Our commitment to the Westmead project, along with our strategic partnership with SGCH and NHFIC, will allow us to bring forward much-needed supply of high quality, sustainable and affordable new homes.”

Nathan Dal Bon, CEO of NHFIC, said: “This is a ground-breaking agreement that clearly demonstrates how NHFIC can partner with the community housing sector and institutional investors to find innovative new ways to deliver much-needed affordable housing.”

Australia’s Federal minister for housing, Julie Collins, said the project was an example of leveraging government funding to attract institutional investment in affordable housing for rent.

“The Albanese government will seek to facilitate more investments like this through our Housing Australia Future Fund and the new Housing Accord,” she said.

Scott Langford, Group CEO of SGCH, said: “AXA IM Alts has a global track record investing in affordable housing – with over A$35bn invested in the residential sector globally – and this has followed through into their commitment to partner at scale in Australia.”

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