UK Social Housing receives major investment boost

Social Housing in the United Kingdom has receive a major boost this week thanks to £1b worth of backing from the European Investment Bank (EIB), writes property developer Richard Carr.

Partnership

Richard Carr discusses social housing

Boost for social housing in the UK

The EIB has teamed up with the Housing Finance Corporation (THFC) to provide £1b worth of investment which will help to alleviate shortages in affordable housing and accelerate construction of new build social housing.

The scale and size of the investment highlights the country’s social housing problem; the £1b injection represents the largest ever support for social housing by the EIB anywhere in Europe.

The 30 year long-term loan will be matched by THFC and guaranteed by the government meaning that £2b of overall investment will be available for new social housing and urban regeneration schemes by housing associations across the country.

20,000 new homes

Some 20,000 affordable homes are expected to be built from the investment and local housing associations expect to build new affordable properties in some of the largest London based housing associations to community based associations in areas such as Glasgow, Wigan, Scarborough, Bradford and Cambridge.

“The European Investment Bank has a firm commitment to supporting investment in social and affordable housing across the UK, where we provide nearly half of overall EIB support for social housing in Europe. This record new backing builds on a successful partnership with THFC and the EIB’s strong track record of providing nearly GBP 2 billion for investment in social housing by more than seventy housing associations across the country. Local investment under this initiative will improve lives, create jobs and cut heating bills in homes across the UK.” Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President, said on eib.org.

Benefit

Already, in excess of 70 housing associations have applied for financing under the new Affordable Housing Finance initiative and many others are expected to be assessed in the coming months.

Lending by the EIB in the UK last year totalled GBP 5.6 billion and supported long-term investment in 40 projects across the country.  This represented the largest annual engagement since the start of EIB lending in the UK in 1973 which has supported nearly GBP 16 billion of overall investment.

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