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NSW Government reinforces need for quality builders to deliver much-needed housing

The NSW Premier Chris Minns has declared the need for “top tier” buildings and builders to form the backbone of his pledge to create more housing supply to ease the acute shortage of residential properties across the state.

On a visit to Deicorp’s Downtown Zetland project this month, the Premier announced the creation of a new body, the NSW Building Commission, which he said would help ensure people who purchase any new property in NSW will have greater confidence in the quality of work.

“The pressure on the rental market is severe, and the Government’s job is to get more supply into the system to help alleviate some of that pressure,” said the Premier.

“But I want to provide confidence to the public that when we build, we’ll build properly.”

“We want well-built, well-designed suburbs with top-tier buildings and top-tier builders,” said the Premier.

The Government said the NSW Building Commission will seek to elevate the work already undertaken by the Building Commissioner David Chandler to ensure quality and building standards are upheld in the high-rise sector. Among these include the introduction in NSW of the world-first iCIRT rating system of apartment developers and builders.

“We want to expand on that and ensure can get supply moving while still maintaining public confidence in the quality,” said the Premier.

The Minister for Building Anoulack Chanthivong added: “We have to build up not out and this is the first step in ensuring the projects in this global city are of the highest quality.”

Providing peace of mind for apartment buyers

Deicorp’s Chairman Fouad Deiri OAM said: “We support the Government’s creation of the NSW Building Commission, and the focus on ensuring the highest standards possible in all construction work.”

“And we are extremely proud that the Premier and Building Commissioner chose a Deicorp construction site to make this announcement.”

“As the first iCIRT-rated developer in NSW, we believe buyers can have confidence when choosing to purchase an apartment from those companies like Deicorp that have been independently assessed as trustworthy and responsible.

“We will continue to work with the NSW Government to support reforms that give confidence and peace of mind to all purchasers.”

Deicorp in November 2021 was the first three developer in the state to be certified under the NSW Government-endorsed Independent Construction Industry Rating Tool (iCIRT), developed by the credit ratings agency Equifax.

iCIRT was developed to empower apartment buyers by giving them a detailed understanding of who they are dealing with. Deicorp achieved a gold rating under the new benchmark, after exceeding the industry standard in all six categories of the assessment.

How does iCIRT work?

An iCIRT rating is determined after an independent and rigorous assessment by Equifax over six categories that include: Character, Capability, Conduct, Capacity, Capital, and Counterparties.

  • Character

The assessment considers a wide range of factors to determine the trustworthiness of a developer. These include key person criminal, credit and insolvency background checks, commercial record checks, beneficial owners, cross directorships, verification of business structure and officeholders, and pre-phoenix alerts on related party distress.

  • Capability

The tenure and trading history of a developer are assessed, along with the experience, employment history and qualifications of its officeholders. Other factors assessed include a developer’s track record of past projects of a similar size and nature, project and risk management practices, insurance cover and insurance claims history and verification of a developer’s licence and whether it has any restrictions.

  • Conduct

The assessment includes developer’s past conduct including any court judgements, tribunal decisions, tax delinquencies, pending litigation and regulator intervention. Information reviewed includes Business Activity Statements (BAS), employee payments and enforceable undertakings and regulatory prosecutions.

  • Capacity

This assesses a range of factors related to the ability of a developer to meet their commitments. These factors include operating cash flow, working capital, commercial performance, status of projects under development (including deferrals and abandonments) and creditor exposure.

  • Capital

This assesses a developer’s capitalisation and funding sources and considers a range of factors including debt serviceability, contractual cover, credit enquires made over the past 12 months, and debt and gearing levels.

  • Counterparties

This rating criteria assesses a developer’s exposure to related parties and other business across the supply chain. Factors evaluated include the commercial record of the ultimate holding company or key trading partners.

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