Podcast | Intelligent Investment

The investment potential in social and affordable housing

35 Minute Listen

The image shows the exterior architecture of a social housing dwelling.

Social and affordable housing has made up only about 1% of the homes that have been built in Australia over the past decade. 

It’s an area that needs urgent attention as a growing number of people experience rental stress and homelessness. 

But how do investors and developers get involved in a sector that’s still largely misunderstood? And what are the benefits? 

We explore this in our latest Talking Property podcast featuring Wendy Hayhurst - CEO of the Community Housing Industry Association, Nicholas Proud - CEO of PowerHousing Australia, Gavin Salt - Residential Lead at i2C Architects, and Steph Harper, Valuation & Advisory Services Director for CBRE’s Living Sectors business. 

If you have any questions regarding this episode or property topics that you’d like CBRE to address in future episodes, please email us at: [email protected].  


Wendy Hayhurst

CEO of the Community Housing Industry Association

Wendy was appointed in March 2019 as CEO of the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA), the peak body representing not for profit community housing organisations across Australia. Previously she led CHIA NSW – the state peak - for four years. Wendy has spent almost her entire career in social and affordable housing – working her way from the front line to a non-executive directorship and senior managerial roles in a wide range of housing provider organisations, regulatory bodies, specialist consultancies and performance benchmarking organisations.

Nicholas Proud 

CEO of PowerHousing Australia

Nicholas Proud was appointed CEO of PowerHousing Australia in July 2016. Nicholas has previously held national executive director roles with the Property Council’s residential division, the Housing Industry Association in Workforce development advocacy and was Director of Research and Policy with the Construction and Property Industry Skills Council.

Nicholas has campaigned in recent roles on housing issues, affordability and the value of housing delivery to jobs, communities and the economy which has thrust housing delivery back into the national policy landscape. He has worked directly on the introduction of foreign investment legislation, was a strong advocate for the safeguarding of existing NRAS incentives and has secured significant funds for workforce development for the property and construction sectors.

Gavin Salt 

Residential Lead at i2C Architects

Gavin is an engineer and architect with more than a decade of experience delivering projects in Australia and the United Kingdom. Gavin has extensive experience in the design and delivery of medium to large scaled residential, mixed-use, childcare, aged care and medical projects.

Driven by the belief that housing is a key human right, Gavin leads the residential sector for i2C, focusing primarily on Build to Rent and Social Housing. Adaptable, versatile, robust housing that is designed for the changing needs of residents and the climate is a key focus. His international experience has aided him in identifying Passive House as key to our future housing design.

Steph Harper 

Valuation & Advisory Services Director for CBRE’s Living Sectors business

Steph is a Certified Practicing Valuer and Associate Member of the Australia Property Institute. Steph is the lead Valuer of CBRE’s Residential Living Sector’s Valuation team, and industry specialist in Affordable Housing and the accelerating Build-to-Rent and Co-Living sectors.

Kathryn House 

Head of Research, Pacific & ESG, Asia Pacific, CBRE

Kathryn joined CBRE in 2007 following a 15-year career in property journalism working for some of Australia's leading newspapers, including the Australian Financial Review and the Sydney Morning Herald. She works closely with CBRE’s CEO and senior executive team to promote the company’s brand, platform and corporate values.

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