Associations get funding from European Investment Bank

Two housing associations reveal they have received significant funding from the European Investment Bank.

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Bron Afon and Sovereign have both received funding from EIB to get more homes built.

The EIB, which is owned by the European Union, has provided more than £4bn of investment in social housing and urban renewal across the UK in the last decade, more than to any other European country, mainly through The Housing Finance Corporation.

There was some concern that the Brexit vote would see the EIB loans to British housing associations cease.

Sovereign signed a huge £150m funding deal with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support its plans to build 4,500 new homes over the next three years.

This is the first deal directly between the EIB and a housing association in England to complete since 2014.

Mark Hattersley, chief financial officer at Sovereign, said: “We’re committed to making the most of our financial capacity to invest in building much-needed affordable homes to rent and buy across the south and south west.

“This funding from the EIB, loaned at sector leading rates, will also help us improve the energy efficiency of our existing homes, in addition to providing those affordable places to live.”

The EIB lent £5.5bn to support long-term investment in 36 projects across the UK last year. This represented the second largest annual engagement since the start of EIB lending in the UK in 1973.

For Bron Afon, it will allow them to start their first development programme.

The £30.5m was provided by EIB, the Principality Building Society and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Duncan Forbes, chief executive of Bron Afon, said: “We can’t wait to get started and make our plans a reality with this cash for the benefit of the borough.

“This investment is going to mean new homes and with that level of investment we can also secure and create new jobs and training places.

“Our That Works Training Academy trains people and then helps them get paid-jobs and placements on building sites. All our projects in this plan will have clear targets for the jobs and apprenticeships we expect to be created.

“That alone is going to give many local people a foot-in-the-door of a career in the construction industry.

“The Welsh Government has a target of building 20,000 affordable homes before the end of its current term in 2021. Our 450 homes will be built before then so we are helping to make sure Wales is on target to meet its housing demand.”

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