Australian Unity’s Specialist Disability Accommodation fund grows portfolio and inks debt deal with Bank Australia

15 December 2020

Tags: Media

Australian Unity’s Specialist Disability Accommodation Fund has announced the settlement of 10 apartments at Moonee Ponds, the acquisition of 10 off-the-plan apartments in Essendon, and the acquisition of 9 off-the-plan apartments at Williams Landing, growing the Fund to ~$43 million.

The Fund has also executed a $50 million debt facility with Bank Australia to underwrite further investment in the disability accommodation sector.

Since launching in April, the Fund’s social infrastructure assets have grown to more than 55 specialist disability accommodation apartments geographically spread throughout Victoria, with more acquisitions imminent.

Ryan Banting, General Manager Social Infrastructure, Australian Unity, said the recent acquisitions are part of the Fund’s commitment to investing in accessible accommodation for Australians living with a disability.

“The new apartments in Essendon, Moonee Ponds and Williams Landing add significantly to the portfolio and positively contributes to the supply of new disability housing,” he said.

Mr Banting said the $50 million debt facility with Bank Australia underwrites the Fund’s capital management strategy and supports continued expansion through the acquisition of new assets.

“The debt facility with Bank Australia positions the Fund for the next stage of its growth,” Mr Banting said.

“We have a significant pipeline of acquisition opportunities across the country and, as the disability housing sector continues to gather momentum, we are positioning the Fund for measured and sustained growth.”

“As a capital provider, Bank Australia has been an early mover in Australia’s disability housing sector. This capital partnership reflects our shared commitment to investing in housing solutions for all Australians.”

Mr. Jacob Edwards, Senior Manager Impact Finance, Bank Australia, said Bank Australia was pleased to partner with Australian Unity in providing specialist and contemporary disability housing solutions that focus on getting more Australians to live independently in their own home.

“We are a founding member of Specialist Disability Accommodation Alliance, and the partnership with Australian Unity is the latest iteration of our commitment to the sector and investment in partnerships that contribute to a fairer and more equitable Australia.”

Mr Banting said the Fund’s three initial acquisitions in Richmond, Cheltenham and Greensborough were fully occupied and performing in line with expectations amid growing investor interest in the sector which continues to be backed by the right public policy settings.

“The strong performance of the portfolio to date is a testament to the quality of the team that supports the diligence process behind each asset acquisition, and.”

He said COVID-19 has emphasised the importance of all Australians having access to housing solutions that are responsive to their needs and enable residents to live up to their capabilities.

“These past few months have been a reminder of the need for a welldeveloped care eco-system and strong partnerships, and we are proud of our ongoing work with Housing Choices Australia, annecto, Melba and Guardian Living Australia.”

Mark Pratt, Executive General Manager – Property, Australian Unity, said the growth of the SDA fund and partnership with Bank Australia were further examples of Australian Unity’s commitment to investing in social infrastructure assets, building on a national portfolio of hospitals, medical centres and retirement and aged care accommodation.

“Australian Unity’s property team has more than two decades’ experience investing in the health and social infrastructure assets that Australian communities need,” Mr Pratt said.

“The SDA Fund is another example of this. It deploys private capital to deliver crucial appropriate built-form residences for people with a range of abilities.

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