PIC Invests £30m to Support Social Housing in Northern Ireland
The Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) have invested £30 million into Apex Housing Association (Apex) to support the development of hundreds more energy efficient social homes per year.


Through the investment, Apex will deliver 300 to 400 new homes per year as part of their long term strategy, with all new homes to achieve a minimum EPC rating of ‘A’ from 2024.

Apex, a regulated housing association and the third largest in Northern Ireland, currently manage a stock of over 7000 in Northern Ireland.

The housing association is regulated by the Department for Communities, part of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and delivers housing of different tenures including general needs accommodation, supported housing, housing for vulnerable groups, while offering support services for tenants.

Apex have identified several targets in their Sustainability Strategy 2023-2026, including:

  • Construct all new homes to EPC rating A, adopting a ‘fabric-first’ approach – starting April 2024
  • Identify and implement alternative renewable fuel/energy sources for new build homes
  • Consider and implement BREEAM into new build contracts where suitable, targeting a minimum ‘very good’ status
  • Develop and implement a strategy to achieve a minimum EPC rating C across 90% of existing homes

Roderick Canning, Finance Director at Apex, said: “We are delighted to have secured this transaction with PIC to continue our development programme over the coming years.

“PIC is a valued partner following our initial transaction in 2021 and having the opportunity to work again with a team that has such a strong understanding of the social housing sector makes for an efficient and successful process. We valued PIC’s flexibility, including the ability to defer drawdown.”

PIC support social housing throughout the UK

This latest investment into Apex comes after PIC, a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension funds, completed an initial investment of £100 million in 2021.

This investment was designed to support Apex in their plans to develop 1,500 new homes, as well as helping to refinance the housing association’s existing debt.

It marked the first time PIC had invested in social housing in Northern Ireland. Since then, they have also invested £55 million in another Northern Ireland housing association, Clanmil Homes.

Speaking about this latest £30m investment into Apex, Celia Franch Lopez, Debt Origination Manager at PIC, said: “We are very pleased to have worked with Apex Housing Association on this transaction, and to be able to help them create social value within Northern Ireland.

The investment provides an attractive risk profile in an area of high demand for social housing. In addition, the maturity profile is well-suited to our liabilities.

“This investment complements our portfolio, providing low risk, long-term, secure cashflows that match our pension liabilities for decades into the future.”

To date, PIC has invested over £3 billion in social housing across the UK, having supported the social housing sector in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The insurer made its first investment in the sector in 2012.