Property developer Assemble has announced a partnership with Housing Choices Australia, in an effort to deliver mixed-income housing to Australian communities.

Looking to expand further the rapidly-growing build-to-rent market, the partnership will provide more than 3,300 dwellings for low and moderate income households, facilitating $1.5 billion in long-term institutional capital investment.

Once Assemble completes development of the affordable rental properties, Housing Choices Australia will manage and allocate tenants within the low-income housing component of each community, comprising at least 20% of the dwellings delivered.

The housing will be delivered under long-term ground lease arrangements across six of Assemble's development sites in inner and middle-ring Melbourne, with Carinish Road, Clayton being one of the key sites to be delivered under the partnership.

Groups offered tenancy may include women experiencing domestic violence, young people living with disabilities, or key workers on low, fixed incomes that provide essential community services.

With Australia having an affordable housing shortfall in excess of 1 million dwellings that are required by 2036, Assemble Managing Director Kris Daff says that the timing is right for the partnership with Housing Choices Australia.

"We are proud to partner with Housing Choices Australia to deliver much needed long-term mixed­ income rental housing. Our partnership demonstrates how the private and not-for-profit community housing sector can work in unison to deliver real solutions to Australia's critical housing shortage," said MrDaff.

 "At a time that has been socially and economically devastating for Victoria, fuelled by uncertainty in housing tenure and barriers to home ownership, our communities need support now more than ever to ensure we do not reach a crisis point."

 "Build to rent is a scalable model, and when executed to its best effect, it has the potential to meet our nation's demand for secure-tenure affordable housing. We see mixed-income communities as a blueprint for the future of Australian housing," said Mr Daff.

This integrated mixed-income model reflects international best practice, adapted to the local context to achieve social outcomes for tenants and financial outcomes for capital without the need for direct government subsidy.

Housing Choices Australia Managing Director, Michael Lennon says that while the build to rent market in Australia is behind compared to the rest of the world, the work being done by property developers will have it up to speed in due course.

"The establishment of build to rent as an asset class reflects the growing maturity of the community housing sector in Australia."

"Build to rent recognises that there are very significant unmet housing needs in Australia coupled with a strong desire by institutional investors to diversify and to contribute solutions to the housing crisis. The community housing sector offers ideal partnership opportunities because of its depth of experience in managing tenancies and communities cost effectively."

Assemble currently possesses the largest private portfolio of mixed­ income housing in Victoria, that showcases build to rent as an asset class that can meet modern housing challenges.

The completion of these projects will see the injection of more than $1 billion of construction activity into Victoria's economy and create some 8,000 construction jobs. 

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