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Pro bono boost for social housing

Briefs

Cite as: December 2015 89 (12) LIJ, p.14

Australian law firm Herbert Smith Freehills will provide its legal expertise pro bono for an ambitious project to raise more than $1.8 billion for social and affordable housing.

Under The Big Issue’s Homes for Homes project launched recently, homeowners and organisations have been urged to donate 0.1 per cent of the value of property sales during the next three decades.

The money raised will be used to construct homes in areas of greatest need, such as emergency housing for women and children, specialised youth housing centres and housing for low income earners.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner David Sinn said up to 2500 dwellings could be built under the project during the next 20 to 30 years, housing 6000 people.

“In the face of a serious affordable housing shortage, Homes for Homes will allow business and home owners to give back to the community and help accommodate vulnerable Australians who are in need of safe and stable housing,” Mr Sinn said.

The Big Issue and Homes for Homes CEO Steven Persson said the current housing shortfall in Australia is expected to hit 600,000 by 2029, an increase of more than 250 per cent.

“We strongly believe that solving our critical lack of social and affordable housing cannot sit with one government or organisation alone, but requires the entire Australian community to be part of the solution,” Mr Persson said.

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