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Herbert Smith Freehills advises Lighthouse Infrastructure on A$61m key worker housing acquisition and financing

18 November 2022 | Australia, Asia Pacific
Deals and cases


Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has advised Lighthouse Infrastructure (Lighthouse) in relation to its A$61 million investment with St George Community Housing (SGCH) for the delivery of key worker accommodation in western Sydney.

Melbourne-based Lighthouse Infrastructure is an independent, sustainable infrastructure fund manager that specialises in the unlisted renewable energy and social infrastructure sectors. 

Its new investment involves the acquisition of 76 new apartments in Parramatta and builds on its previous loan of A$59m to SGCH that funded 85 dwellings for essential workers in the nearby suburb of Westmead. Herbert Smith Freehills also advised Lighthouse on the Westmead investment.

As part of the key-worker accommodation model, the new housing is designed for workers in the emergency services, health, education and related sectors, and rents will be charged at a maximum of 75% of market rates to promote greater affordability for low and medium income earners.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Nicholas Carney, with the support of solicitors Nicholas Gerovasilis and Stephanie Simm, and partner Erin Wakelin.

They worked closely with Lighthouse’s deal team: managing directors Peter Johnston and James Hooper; and Penelope Laletas.

Nicholas Carney said, “We were thrilled to work with Lighthouse Infrastructure once again to deliver this latest investment in collaboration with SGCH. Lighthouse’s previous investment in Westmead, also with SGCH, has proven that this innovative funding model is sustainable and scalable, delivering positive returns and increasing access to affordable housing for essential workers.”

HSF has a long history of supporting private capital clients to deliver social and affordable housing projects. Other recent examples include advising:

  • QIC and BHC in relation their participation in the Queensland Government’s Housing Investment Fund;
  • FACS and NSW Treasury in relation to the establishment of the A$1.1 billion NSW Social and Affordable Housing Fund, and on the nine transactions supported by the Fund;
  • Lighthouse Infrastructure in relation to its financing of specialist disability accommodation with Summer Housing.

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