The Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) was established on 1 November 2023 by the Housing Australia Future Fund Act 2023 (HAFF Act). The HAFF is a dedicated investment vehicle to provide additional funding to support and increase social and affordable housing, as well as other acute housing needs including, but not limited to, the particular needs of Indigenous communities and housing services for women, children and veterans. On establishment the HAFF was credited with $10 billion.
The HAFF Act gives effect to the following:
- Investment Mandate: the responsible Ministers are required to issue at least one investment mandate to the Future Fund Board of Guardians (Future Fund Board).
- Crediting amounts to the HAFF: the responsible Ministers may, by writing, credit the HAFF Special Account with a specified amount or with specified instalments.
- Debiting amounts from the HAFF: in future financial years, the Finance Minister must, in writing, transfer $500 million in total from the HAFF Special Account to the HAFF Payments Special Account, the COAG Reform Fund, and the Housing Australia Special Account to pay amounts payable under grants relating to acute housing needs, social housing or affordable housing, or loans relating to social housing or affordable housing. CPI indexation will apply to the disbursement amount from 2029-30.
The responsible Ministers must give the Future Fund Board at least one written direction about the performance of the HAFF investment functions. Before formally issuing an investment mandate direction, the responsible Ministers must invite the Future Fund Board to make a submission on the draft investment mandate. Should there be a submission, it is tabled together with the investment mandate in both Houses of the Parliament.
The Housing Australia Future Fund Investment Mandate Direction 2023 was issued on 1 November 2023. It requires the Future Fund Board to adopt a benchmark return of the Consumer Price Index + 2.0 per cent to 3.0 per cent per annum, net of investment fees over the long term.
In targeting this benchmark return, the Future Fund Board must determine an acceptable but not excessive level of risk for the fund, including having regard to the plausible capital loss from investment returns over the forward three year period. The Government acknowledges that targeting the long-term benchmark return implies accepting the risk of capital losses, in adverse markets, that may be 15-20 per cent of the portfolio over a three year period.
Investment Performance and Financials
The Future Fund Board will publicly disclose the HAFF asset allocation and investment returns in its quarterly portfolio updates.
Credits to the Housing Australia Future Fund
On 1 November 2023, $10 billion was credited to the HAFF under the HAFF Act.