Sustainable community housing

A new energy efficient, affordable housing project financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and St George Community Housing (SGCH) began construction last month.

The project will create 39 affordable housing units for people on low-to-moderate incomes in Peakhurst, Sydney.

The development is being funded with finance from the CEFC’s first investment in energy efficiency for affordable housing.

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said, “It’s very exciting to be part of this project, which will deliver sustainable and energy efficient affordable housing, reducing energy costs for low-to-moderate income families.
“It’s vital to the future of our cities that workers and their families on low to moderate incomes have access to affordable housing near where they work and we are pleased to be able to support the important work SGCH is doing in this area, bringing the benefits of better energy efficient homes for these families.

“Energy efficient homes mean lower energy bills, as well as lower emissions, which have the potential to drive the transformation of our cities’ operations, their sustainability and their liveability.”

The 39 units in a four-storey apartment block at Lawrence Street, Peakhurst in southern Sydney will include energy efficiency measures such as double glazed windows, improved insulation in the floors, walls and ceilings and the installation of ceiling fans to target an 8-star rating under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).

NatHERS encourages energy efficient building design and construction by providing a reliable way to estimate and rank the potential thermal performance of residential buildings in Australia. A 6-star NatHERS rating represents good thermal performance while a 10-star rating means a home is unlikely to need any artificial heating or cooling.

SGCH Acting CEO Trevor Wetmore said the project is an exciting development for the organisation.

“We know that reducing day-to-day living costs such as energy bills can make a big difference to people on lower incomes. And the more we save on energy costs, the more SGCH can reinvest into housing services.”

The Peakhurst development is due to be completed in mid-2016.
Earlier in September, the CEFC and SGCH announced a program to develop environmentally friendly social and affordable housing projects, with $60 million in long-term senior debt from the CEFC.

The program is expected to finance the construction of more than 200 new energy efficient homes – including the Peakhurst development – as well as underpin upgrades to a proportion of SGCH’s 4,300 existing older properties with energy efficient technologies.