24 April 2020
Guardian Living Australia (GLA) is proud to announce a business relationship with Australian Unity.
Further to the attached article in today’s Financial Review (see below), Guardian Living Australia (GLA) is very proud to announce a business relationship with one of Australia’s largest and most reputable mutual organisations, Australian Unity.
We announce this as Australian Unity has made a commitment to augment its social infrastructure investment activities with the creation and launch of a Specialist Disability Accommodation Fund to deliver accessible housing across the Eastern seaboard of Australia.
The proposed portfolio will comprise best practice accessible housing that will be sourced, designed, fitted out and tenanted by Guardian Living.
This consolidates our mission to be the market leader in delivering high-quality housing options for people with disabilities that provide a foundation for greater independence, community connection, social inclusion and improved quality of life outcomes for our tenants.
The GLA team is immensely proud to announce this and partner with Australian Unity to deliver this pipeline of new housing, which will include a diverse range of housing options, including apartments, units, townhouses, independent living and limited shared dwellings across all SDA design categories.
We look forward to working with a wide range of stakeholders within the housing, disability and social sectors to provide great housing outcomes for people with a range of different abilities.
This announcement of a major capital partner represents further significant support and confidence in an evolving and maturing SDA market.
$39m raised for Aust Unity disability fund
Australian Unity has closed a firstround capital raising with $39 million for a fund holding specialist disability accommodation, a government-backed sector that is rapidly winning major investors.
Since opening the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) fund to investors, Australian Unity has raised $39 million, $9 million more than its initial target.
Housing in the boutique but growing sector is specially developed for people living with a disability, with rental streams backed by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Industry forecasts are expecting the creation of a $5 billion asset class.
When the NDIS-backed scheme is fully expanded, annual funding is expected to hit $700 million a year.
The Australian Unity raising will enable the fund to acquire incomeproducing seed properties and secure a pipeline of assets being developed. Combined with modest gearing, the fund aims to commit about $60 million into the sector over the coming months.
“We’ve invested in a quality portfolio of seed assets for the fund, which includes 33 specialist disability accommodation apartments and five carers apartments,” said Ryan Banting, Australian Unity’s general manager for social infrastructure.
The apartments are in Melbourne’s eastern and northern suburbs.
“Having completed considerable diligence on the sector, the timing is right for us to launch our SDA Fund.
Investor interest is strong, the market is ready, and the public policy settings are in place to enable and sustain the sector,” Mr Banting said.
Mark Pratt, executive general manager for property, said the new fund complemented Australia’s Unity’s existing social infrastructure portfolio. That includes Brisbane’s $1.1 billion Herston Quarter redevelopment, and investments in hospitals, medical centres and seniors living facilities across Australia.
The pipeline of new homes backed by NDIS funding jumped by 50 per cent in the past 12 months with about 3000 new places of SDA in development or newly built, up from 2000 a year earlier.
As well as Australian Unity, deeppocketed players such as Macquarie, investment house Lighthouse Infrastructure and ASX-listed Arena REIT are moving into the sector.