This year NHFIC developed a Sustainability Bond Framework aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the International Capital Market Association’s Social Bond Principles 2018.
The Sustainability Bond Framework governs the:
- use of proceeds of bond issuance
- process for evaluation and selection of assets financed or refinanced by the issue
- management of the proceeds of the issue
- form of reporting NHFIC will undertake.
NHFIC’s first bond issuance was a social bond of $315 million issued in March 2019. The funds raised by the bond were lent to CHPs that are providing social and affordable housing in Australia. To date this is the largest social bond aligned to the ICMA Social Bond Principles to be issued in Australia.
By issuing a social bond, NHFIC aims to:
- support its mandate to help low-income and vulnerable Australians access affordable housing. Investing in NHFIC social bonds provides investors with the unique opportunity to be a part of the solution to the housing crisis faced by these Australians
- highlight the acute shortage of affordable housing in Australia in an effort to attract more attention to the issue
- encourage investors to support the development of the sustainability and social bond markets in Australia.
The social bond is directly aligned to supporting the achievement of the following Sustainable Development Goals targets by 2030:
Target 1.4: Ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.
Target 11.1: Ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.