Carrie Hamilton is a finance professional committed to the growth of the Australian affordable housing industry. She is a qualified city planner with 20 years’ experience working in property development and affordable housing roles in the United States and Australia, focusing on development management and project debt/equity strategy. She is currently consulting to community housing and government entities who seek to finance projects through expanded tools and partnerships. Carrie also serves on the Technical Reference Panel to the NSW Planning and Infrastructure Affordable Housing Task Force, and on the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Social Housing and Social Assistance, appointed by the Federal Housing Minister in 2011.
Recently she acted as NSW Finance Manager at Affordable Housing Solutions (AHS), a hybrid company that comprises property, community, and finance expertise to originate and manage projects with community housing partners. AHS also manages the National Housing Company, a non-profit financial intermediary established to capture institutional investment in new Commonwealth initiatives such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). Carrie wrote components of the new Company’s business plan including the project investment policy, and subsequently applied this with robust modeling of potential projects’ construction and operational cost estimates relative to finance costs. This work resulted in thoroughly-annotated Board recommendations on project investments to build a portfolio of affordable housing assets.
Her expertise in this role also included compiling applications for government funding at both the state and Commonwealth level. This entails creating a feasible, compelling vision plus managing other consultant and potential financiers’ inputs through a competitive process toward a fixed deadline. Carrie’s understanding of government allocation and probity requirements is underpinned by having been asked to serve on State assessment panels for funding in NSW (NRAS rounds 1 and 2) and on Council tender panels as financial advisor in the US. Specifically, Carrie performed feasibility analysis for two Community Housing Providers’ NRAS projects under Round 4, and presented information memoranda to selected banks in order to secure robust letters of support. Both applications were successful.
Prior to AHS Carrie previously held a role at Macquarie Bank for 7 years where from 2007-2010 she worked in Macquarie's wholesale development funds division, linking institutional investor equity (mostly super funds) with residential development opportunities throughout Australia. She provided strategic input to development manager partners and was engaged in debt raising efforts in the post-GFC market. Prior to that she worked on one of the largest public/private joint venture public housing renewals in Australia: the Westwood project in Adelaide. In partnership with the South Australian Housing Trust, Macquarie’s in-house development company Urban Pacific Limited revitalised five suburbs of distressed housing through neighbourhood reconfiguration, new construction, and rehabilitation of obsolete stock. In addition to financial risk management of the project, Carrie had a compliance and review role in the partnering agreement between Macquarie and the Housing Trust, a strong ten-year partnership underpinning that award-winning project.
Before migrating to Australia in 2003, Carrie Hamilton worked as a Financial Advisor for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit projects in the United States, raising private equity and debt to invest in new rental housing joint ventures and public housing estate renewal projects. The role was in a San Francisco-based consultancy that specialised in this sector based on the consistent deal flow of affordable housing developments across the U.S. Her clients were city Housing Authorities and non-profit developers in California, Texas, and Washington state, for whom she provided financial structuring for various federal mechanisms such as tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, and HOPE VI public housing renewal funds, which leveraged private investment that financed hundreds of new homes. This background led to pro-bono work with the Housing Summit in Australia advising the Commonwealth on the development of the NRAS, based on its similarities to the American tax credit mechanism.
Carrie holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University. She was honoured to become an Australian citizen in 2005.
Skills and expertise
- Affordable housing finance strategy and design
- Public housing estate and community redevelopment
- Property development feasibility
- Project management
- Debt raising and funding applications
- Public Private Partnership establishment and facilitation
- Bond finance policy