Australian industry super fund HESTA has committed A$240m (€155m) to support the launch of a specialist affordable housing fund manager, Super Housing Partnerships (SHP).

The capital from HESTA will be channelled into the first fund, which will initially focus on developing build-to-rent (BTR) apartment projects in Victoria.

SHP will provide institutional investors with access to equity investment in new BTR housing projects, with a focus on social and affordable housing unique to the Australian market.

HESTA CEO, Debby Blakey, said the fund’s founding investment in SHP’s pipeline of BTR homes aimed to generate stable, long-term returns for members while helping catalyse an emerging investment sector.

“We have the opportunity to innovate and invest to meet an unmet need, providing our members with appropriate risk-adjusted investment returns by improving housing supply,” Blakey said.

SHP venture partner, Kris Daff, said SHP intended to expand its initial Victorian portfolio and was currently working with key strategic development partners for the delivery and operation of assets nationally.

SHP’s first fund will partner with Assemble, an affordable and sustainable housing developer, and Housing Choices Australia, one of Australia’s largest nationally-accredited community housing providers.

The managing director of Housing Choices Australia, Michael Lennon, said: “The SHP platform is a game-changer, and exactly what the affordable housing market in Australia needs.”

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