Australian Unity and GreenFort ink agreement to develop $40m disability housing portfolio

03 May 2021

Tags: Media

Australian Unity and GreenFort Capital have entered into an agreement that will facilitate the development of a $40 million portfolio of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).

The agreement will see Australian Unity’s SDA Fund partner with alternative real estate fund manager, GreenFort Capital to deliver an initial portfolio of high-quality dwellings in South East Queensland across three sites in Brisbane, one in Moreton Bay, and another in Logan City.

As a result, Australian Unity’s SDA Fund will reach more than circa. $80 million in assets and projects, following the initial $40 million capital raise and a number of SDA Apartment acquisitions across Victoria since launching in April 2020.

Ryan Banting, General Manager Social Infrastructure at Australian Unity, said the pandemic had emphasised the importance of all Australians having access to housing solutions that are responsive to their needs.

“The marker of successful specialist disability accommodation is creating an interdependent mix of services and places for residents,” Mr Banting said.

“Partnering with organisations, like GreenFort, who have a strong capability and track record of developing property to deliver positive community-focused outcomes further supports this objective.”

GreenFort, a specialist in accommodation investing, including across retirement living, build to rent and student housing, is responsible for site origination, design, and development of the assets.

Adam Vaggelas, Partner, GreenFort Capital, said the severe undersupply of rental accommodation which satisfies the needs of people with disability led to its focus on the evolving sector.

“There is a critical need for specialist accommodation which supports and empowers people with functional impairments. Our investment philosophy is centred on the creation of welllocated, high quality buildings specifically tailored to the needs of Australians living with disability.”

The partnership comes at a time of rapid growth in the SDA sector, which is estimated to reach $700 million1 in annual funding once the Federal Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme is fully funded.

This growth is generating an increase in investor interest and demand with market participants forecasting a $5 billion2 asset class in coming years. Australian Unity will shortly commence its second SDA equity raise for $35 million and this week announced the appointment of three executives to augment its social infrastructure activities. Jacob Edwards joins as Fund Manager for the Australian Unity Specialist Disability Accommodation Fund from Bank Australia’s impact finance team, senior analyst Dean Zaccardo joins from Deloitte, and portfolio analyst Matt Hibbert moves from EY’s infrastructure advisory team.

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