Brexit ‘cuts off’ cash for social housing

European Investment Bank has frozen its UK operations.

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The Bank, the largest source of funding for housing association building programmes, has suspended any new long-term loans to the UK.

The decision was taken after the government triggered Article 50 in March. Since then only three UK projects have had funding signed off and no projects have been financed since June.

In the first three months of the year the EIB approved nine projects worth a total of £1.4bn.

The suspension has been confirmed by sources within the bank and public sector institutions in the UK that had previously been beneficiaries of its loans, but it has not been formally announced.

Piers Williamson, chief executive of the Housing Finance Corporation, does not expect any funding in the near future: “The EIB has been a significant source of funding for UK housing regeneration for the last 20 years.

“We understand that our existing contractual commitments will be met but we don’t expect to be able to apply for any more funding at the moment.”

A Treasury spokesman said that it was working with the EIB to resolve the situation: “We are clear that UK companies should be able to access EIB funding on equal terms as other member states while the UK remains a member of the EU,” he said.

“While we work to make sure this happens, we have taken action to support business investment by authorising the British Business Bank to increase its support for venture capital funds and have offered construction guarantees on infrastructure projects.”

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