SVA working with SA Government to reduce homelessness


  • SVA to launch South Australia’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB), a $9 million SIB designed to make a lasting difference to the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Adelaide
  • The innovative program, delivered by Hutt St Centre and Common Ground Adelaide, will help up to 600 homeless individuals through a program focusing on housing, life skills and employment pathways

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) announces a pioneering partnership with South Australian Government, Hutt St Centre and Common Ground Adelaide to help some of the most vulnerable members of the community, using an innovative financing mechanism that combines not-for-profit expertise with private sector capital.

Investors in the Aspire Social Impact Bond (Aspire SIB) will be funding the working capital of the Aspire Program, which seeks to build the independence and resilience of people experiencing homelessness in Adelaide. The structure of the Aspire SIB, developed by SVA, offers investors an opportunity to generate a financial return while making a lasting difference to the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Adelaide. Based on a housing first model and with a strong focus on employment, up to 600 participants will be provided stable accommodation, job readiness training, pathways to employment and life skills development.

The Aspire SIB expects to save the SA Government money given the targeted reductions in health, justice and homelessness support services. Such savings form the basis of payments upon success by the Government which ultimately provide a return to investors.

It is estimated that each year over 12,000 South Australians become homeless.[1] The Aspire SIB will address the causal factors of homelessness by providing stable, affordable and quality housing. It involves an intensive, sustained case management program that will deliver pathways to employment with corporate and training partners, as well as life skills programs delivered by volunteers.

SVA CEO Rob Koczkar commented: ‘The first Social Impact Bond in South Australia is a significant milestone; it is designed to deliver long term outcomes in justice, health and housing for the homeless population, which requires specialist intensive intervention.’

‘SVA is particularly pleased that the South Australian Government has identified this high impact opportunity designed to change the trajectory of the lives of these individuals, while delivering social and financial returns to investors.’

Hutt St Centre is a well-regarded specialist homelessness service provider in Adelaide. As a non-residential agency, it has partnered with Common Ground Adelaide and Unity Housing to provide the accommodation required for the program.

Hutt St Centre CEO Ian Cox said: ‘Aspire has the power to transform the way we deliver services in the future. It is based on the success of our case managers, the success of our Pathways to Employment and Education Program, and the success of our partnerships other community organisations.’

At a launch event in Adelaide the evening of 7 February, the Hon Zoe Bettison MP, Minister for Social Housing, and the Hon Jack Snelling MP, Minister for Health, will address potential investors and supporters of the Aspire SIB on behalf of SA Government.

Minister Jack Snelling commented:

‘This is a brilliant program and a first in Australia that’s specifically designed to break the cycle of homelessness. With the help of investors who share our vision, and the work of all involved to create this new program, we can improve the lives of vulnerable and homeless people. It’ll not only benefit the participants – but also the wider community through reduced demands on our health, justice and homelessness support systems.’

This announcement follows the Newpin Social Benefit Bond in New South Wales, focusing on supporting families in disadvantaged communities in preventing their children from entering into care, which has delivered positive social and financial results each year since its inception three years ago. Most recently, Queensland Government announced the development phase of a Social Impact Bond to address Indigenous disadvantage by working to increase the number of family reunifications of Indigenous children in out-of-home care. Queensland Government shortlisted SVA and UnitingCare Queensland to develop the bond.

The opportunity to deliver positive social outcomes to disadvantaged communities, as well as returns to investors, makes Social Impact Bonds particularly compelling for governments, investors and communities

[1] Based on 2011 Census data and additional information drawn from the ABS General Social Survey.