Wheatley affordable housing funds up to £500m

Wheatley Group, Scotland’s biggest social landlord, said it secured a further £65 million of private investment and that it will return to the capital markets in the next couple of years.

Wheatley announced £100 million of private finance from the world’s largest fund manager Blackrock earlier this year and £300 million of bond finance from the London capital markets in 2014.

Wheatley is the parent of the Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).

The new funding, a five-year revolving credit facility with Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland, takes the amount raised by Wheatley in the past three years to fund the country’s largest building programme of affordable homes to more than £500 million.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Friday visited tenants of Glasgow’s latest affordable homes development as Wheatley announced it had secured the new investment.

The 105 flats and terraced houses visited by the First Minister are being developed by the GHA and its commercial subsidiary, Lowther Homes, on the site of the former Govan Tram Depot in the First Minister’s Glasgow Southside constituency.

The development is part of Wheatley’s rolling programme of 3,500 new affordable homes.

Wheatley chair Alastair MacNish said: “The Glasgow development visited by the First Minister today represents another notable milestone in Scotland’s largest affordable homes building programme.

“It is our intention to return to the capital markets in the next couple of years and to develop other means of securing additional private finance to continue funding our ambitious house-building programme across Scotland, from West Dunbartonshire through Glasgow to Edinburgh and the Lothians.”

Richard Hughes, relationship director at Bank of Scotland, said: “Wheatley’s development programme will see thousands of homes delivered in parts of Scotland with some of the most acute need for affordable housing.

“Our funding will help to ensure Wheatley can continue to provide high-quality homes and care across the country and forms part of our pledge to help Britain’s housing providers prosper with £500 million of new funding during 2017.”

Ian Sillars, head of housing finance Scotland & North, Royal Bank of Scotland said: “The need to build new affordable housing in Scotland is well recognised and Wheatley Housing Group plays a vital role in helping develop new homes for people in key employer towns and cities across the country.

“As a bank we are delighted to extend our long-term relationship with Wheatley Housing Group and to provide additional funding to support the development of new affordable homes which will contribute towards meeting the national target of 50,000 new homes.”

Sturgeon said: “Access to good quality housing is a vital part of our drive to secure economic growth, promote social justice, strengthen communities and tackle inequalities.

“That’s why this government is investing more than £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes – 35,000 for social rent – over the lifetime of this Parliament.”

The homes were built for GHA by contractors Cruden Building & Renewals Ltd and designed by Collective Architecture.

The £11 million development was part funded by a Scottish Government grant of £5.5 million and by the funding raised by Wheatley Group on the bond market in 2014.