Older Women’s Housing Fund

Social Ventures Australia Limited

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Adults - aged 65 and over
Project Focus
Project Area

Project Description

SVA aims to deliver a developed, costed and implementable financial model that unlocks private capital and Government funding to provide new, affordable housing for older women experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Victoria, NSW and QLD.

Phase 1 progress:
• extensive engagement with Federal/State Governments
• research on policy and funding options
• aligning community sector and investment partners on clear asks to governments
• partnering with key influencers/advocates so SVA adds maximum value
• creating moments of pressure (eg analysis for media stories)

Phase 2 continues government engagement and considers financial instruments. 2a will crystallize potential identified into opportunity with deep stakeholder engagement, product design and development. Two possible paths are a demonstration project(s) or investment fund. 2b will develop product; cover stakeholder relations, deal/product structure and operational requirements to deliver model for execution.

Older women are the fastest growing cohort experiencing homelessness. With housing and homelessness policy at a critical juncture, removing barriers before crisis, will avoid stress on a stretched social housing system and ensure older women are supported.

Further, rising housing prices pressure low income earners, pensioners and people with few assets. Also, an assumption of our retirement system is you own your home. For many it’s unrealistic, with older women renting having increased 96% in 10 years.

Expected Outcomes

SVA’s overarching goal is that older women have safe, secure, affordable homes as a foundation for wellbeing and fewer are at risk of homelessness. This can be achieved through structuring government investments that unlock capability of investors to direct private capital towards addressing Australia’s housing supply shortfall.

This requires significant investment. While government investment is essential, there is opportunity to unlock capital from funds managed by the superannuation industry and other investors. By growing the social impact investing market in Australia, there is potential to address challenges and tensions in the retirement incomes system, particularly through increasing availability of affordable housing.

As in the Specialist Disability Accommodation market, creation of appropriately structured subsidies has potential to attract private investment into housing for cohorts in need. A similar approach could be considered for older women without financial security who are approaching or in retirement.

Outcome from Phase 2a will be selection of either a demonstration project(s) or dedicated investment fund for full product development based on potential for impact.

Outcome from Phase 2b - if a Demonstration Project(s), a fully costed project with committed resourcing and financing submitted to government. If Investment Fund, a Fund structure established and support arrangements confirmed, that can be activated for fundraising and pipeline development.

Project Data & Lessons

The goal is to see all people, particularly women, living in good homes, not just through SVA’s actions but by catalysing Government investment, private investors and NGO’s at scale. Queensland, Victorian and Federal governments have already made significant steps towards making sure older women have good homes, thanks in part to SVAs advocacy efforts, which have brought opportunities for private and community sector partners to deliver housing in innovative ways.

To secure further private and community sector investment, SVA will share its learnings on engagement with different governments and projects with investors, community sector partners and key stakeholders.

In developing the fund or demonstration projects, SVA will share assessments of sector readiness and market testing with investors and community sector partners – including what appetite, capability and structures in governments to progress and barriers to incentives required, crucial for creating conditions for growing investments by other parties.

Lessons will also cover process - what is needed to move from prospect/opportunity with government to developing a fundable, supportable product/project and engagement steps with private capital markets to participate in investment products.

Project Dates

The project will run for 12 months but will commence once funding required is secured and appropriate investment professional is engaged

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Approved Tax Concession Charity
Other Funding Sources
Private philanthropist and Trawalla Foundation
Other Support Opportunities
Pro bono services

Organisation Details

Social Ventures Australia Limited
ABN: 94100487572


About Social Ventures Australia Limited

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) is a not-for-profit organisation that works with partners to alleviate disadvantage – towards an Australia where all people and communities thrive.
We influence systems to deliver better social outcomes for by learning about what works in communities, helping organisations be more effective, sharing perspectives and advocating for change in education, sustainable jobs, housing and appropriate health, disability and community services.

Thriving people and communities will be achieved when all Australians are empowered, have a voice in decisions that impact them, a sense of belonging and experience social inclusion. SVA believes that belonging requires, and is enabled through, specific recognition and respect of First Nations’ knowledge and cultures.

SVA was created in 2002 by a group of social and private sector organisations and individuals who saw the need for a capability to help innovation in the social sector. Today, we do this through our work in Impact Investing, Ventures and Policy and Advocacy and Consulting.

SVA works at the intersection of the government, social purpose and business sectors. SVA seeks to positively influence the way systems operate by providing funding, advising on strategy and evaluation and making investments in partner organisations to significantly increase their social impact. SVA advocates for more effective programs and policies and convene unlikely coalitions to build support for system wide solutions.

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