West Kent Housing Association has secured a deal with multiple lenders to invest in new and existing homes, with an emphasis on reaching net zero.
The social landlord, who said it received “a good level of interest from a range of investors”, secured loans of £224m on improved terms as well as a new funding of £175m.
Investors in the deal include Lloyds Bank, Scottish Widows, NatWest, The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC), and Allied Irish Bank.
Through the refinancing deal, plans to invest in new and existing homes will be supported, which West Kent say will ‘better support residents for years to come’.
Innovative terms on the new funding will facilitate quick pricing and quick routes to market, which will enable the housing association to respond to more favourable market conditions over the coming years.
The deal will improve and increase West Kent’s housing stock
Currently, the social landlord own and manage more than 8000 homes, though they aim to increase this to 10,000 by 2025.
Alongside this ambition is the aim to better meet residents current and future needs.
These agreements will allow the housing association to harmonise and simplify covenants, to reflect increasing capital investment in homes as they begin to work towards achieving net zero-carbon.
Maria Organ, Executive Director of Finance at West Kent, said: “We have undertaken a comprehensive overhaul of our Treasury arrangements for the first time in ten years, to address the unprecedented challenges we are currently seeing in the financial markets and to support the increasing demands for investment in new and existing homes, whilst supporting our transition plans to provide housing for our residents that is net zero carbon.”
Investors are keen to support the housing association meet its climate goals
All lenders involved in the deal have worked with West Kent to ensure that all funding arrangements are flexible and will support the housing association to access loan finance in the current unpredictable financial markets.
Dharmesh Patel, Associate Director of Housing Finance at NatWest, said: “NatWest is dedicated to supporting our customers and communities and it is fantastic to be able to support the organisation with a finance package that will help it to invest in energy-efficient homes in West Kent.
We look forward to continuing to work closely with the team at West Kent Housing Association and seeing the organisation thrive on the next stage of its journey.
Gavin Richards, Relationship Manager at THFC, echoed these sentiments, emphasising their more than decade-long relationship and their continued support through this latest investment.
West Kent Housing Association have set goals to help it achieve government targets. These include:
- No gas in new builds by 2025
- All social rented properties to be EPC band C by 2030
- All social rented properties to be net zero carbon by 2050
In order to meet these goals, the social landlord has commenced several pilot projects in the past couple of years, and seek to involve residents in their net zero journey by putting them ‘at the heart of the changes we make’.