Fresh Insights

01 Dec 2021

Aware Super backs essential workers with Canberra affordable housing investment

  • Aware Super is investing in essential worker affordable housing units in the heart of Canberra, ACT.
  • The Fund purchased 40 units in the Metropol development, which are available to defined essential
  • workers – teachers, nurses, other healthcare workers, aged care employees, police, emergency services, childcare workers and those who work in associated industries – at 80% of the market rate for the area.
  • Aware Super has now committed nearly $900 million to essential worker affordable housing projects nationally.

Aware Super has acquired its first significant essential worker affordable housing investment in Canberra to help frontline workers find safe, secure, and affordable places to live in Australia’s most expensive capital city to rent.

The Fund is committed to being part of the housing affordability solution across Australia and has purchased 40 units in the Metropol development in the heart of Canberra City.

The units will provide relief for essential workers who have given so much during the pandemic – including teachers, nurses, healthcare workers, aged care employees, police, emergency services, childcare workers and those who work in associated industries.

The units will be available at 80% of the market rate for the area, a significant saving in a difficult rental market.

Aware Super Chief Executive Officer Deanne Stewart said the Fund’s investment in essential worker affordable housing in Canberra would be welcomed by the local community.

“Our investment in Metropol is our first significant affordable housing investment in Canberra and aligns to our commitment to do well for our members through top performance and do good in the community where they live, work and retire,” Ms Stewart said.

“We’ve seen in the past two years how critical essential workers have been for our community. Whether it be bushfires, COVID-19 or floods – they’ve been there for us. Through developments like this, we are so proud to be there for them.

“Through this investment, we are supporting essential workers in Canberra to live in safe, secure, quality affordable housing, delivering a better work-life balance and helping them to save for the things that matter.”

According to new data released from SQM Research, tenants leasing a unit in Canberra are paying a median rent of $525 per week, $30 more than Sydney and $100 more than the national capital city average.

Despite the steep 9.4% increase in the median unit rental price during the past 12 months, tenants are also struggling to find a property in Canberra, with the rental vacancy rate dropping to 0.7 per cent.
“As the super fund for the ACT’s public sector employees, Canberra has always been an important supporter of Aware Super; through investments like this we can use our size and scale to support the region in return,” Ms Stewart continued.

“In an already competitive rental market, a rise in cost comes with an increase in stress levels. We see great value in supporting essential workers during these tough times and taking the stress and anxiety out of finding a great place to live, close to work and other critical services.

“You can’t get a better location than this in Canberra. You look out one window and see the greenery of Glebe Park and the bustle of the shopping precinct out the other.”

The units are a mixture of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom configurations with the majority having at least one parking space. Aside from the quality of the units themselves, the development has a number of facilities including a private spa, relaxation room, rooftop terrace and swimming pool.

Aware Super’s investment in Metropol is its first significant property investment in Canberra and was achieved in partnership with Altis Property Partners. It will be managed by specialist affordable housing real estate agency Echo Realty.

Aware Super has already invested in essential worker affordable housing rental properties in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with nearly 1,000 units either completed or in various stages of planning and development.

For more information on how to rent one of Aware Super’s affordable Metropol units, please contact Echo Reality on 1800 324 622 or at info@echorealtyact.com.au.

Aware Real Estate acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters of Australia where we build. Our company, team and partners offer respect to Elders past, present and emerging.