Elevate is owned and managed by Foundation Housing and offers well located, quality and affordable accommodation. Tenants in Elevate homes pay rent at 25% under market rates. The Elevate apartments and townhouses are located in a number of desirable areas both north and south of the river. They offer great amenities, the latest in quality finishes and access to a great lifestyle.
An Australian-first social enterprise model
Elevate by Foundation Housing has successfully demonstrated a new and sustainable way to use funding to provide discounted, affordable rentals in desirable locations in Perth, whilst at the same time using proceeds to deliver much needed social housing. Using low-cost funding available via the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC), Foundation Housing purchased over 100 new homes from credible, high-quality private developers, all in central locations with proximity to public transport, employment hubs and retail precincts. The model benefited commercially through wholesale transactions and by leveraging the organisation’s not-for-profit status.
To be eligible, potential tenants had to meet eligibility criteria as a low to moderate income earner (household income was capped at $102k pa), and tenants pay no more than 30% of their household income in rent, which is capped at 75% of market rent. As well as repaying the debt and growing the asset value, the rental income from the properties is funding a further 12 new social housing properties, at zero cost to the taxpayer.
“By supporting WA’s essential workers with affordable housing, we are providing homes for people in need and supporting those who enrich our community,” says CEO, Chris Smith.
Having successfully initiated, developed and managed the Elevate project, Foundation Housing has demonstrated its extensive project management skills to deliver future housing projects, including:
Foundation Housing identified and developed the model and assessed options for viability. As part of the application to access NHFIC’s Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator, a detailed project finance model was required within a strict timeframe. FHL estimated that approximately $55 million of stock could be acquired at market value for $45 million, resulting in at least $10 million of equity on settlement. As well as servicing the debt, the rental income is funding 12 new social housing properties. The value of the assets will build in the longer term, creating an independent financial base to develop more property assets for social and affordable housing, hence continuing to meet the organisation’s purpose of providing homes for those in need.
Foundation Housing identified the high-quality and desirable housing stock that will hold long-term value and then worked with reputable developers to purchase the properties. This was an extensive process, with over 500 properties assessed and partnerships created with 20 developers to secure the assets.
Foundation Housing ran a comprehensive and targeted marketing and communications program over a two-month period, successfully letting all 98 homes within a five-week period and fielding over 3000 enquiries. In doing so, this also had the impact of raising awareness about wider affordable housing issues in the community and positioned Foundation Housing as a recognised and reliable community housing leader amongst developers, partners, the community, and local and state governments.
Tenancy and Property Management
Foundation Housing manages all aspects of the ongoing tenancy and property management arising from the purchases.
Foundation Housing housed frontline worker Jake in early 2021 after he went through months of rental stress to find an affordable place to live.