BlackRock Real Assets has announced the creation of a half a billion-pound retirement living joint venture and the provision of shared-ownership homes funding in two separate UK deals.

The manager has teamed up with retirement villages provider Audley Group to fund the development of retirement communities including at least three mid-market villages within the Audley Group’s Mayfield portfolio.

The joint venture, which marks BlackRock’s entry into the UK retirement living sector, is developing Audley Group’s Mayfield site at Watford as its first village. The project is expected to be ready for occupation in the summer of 2022.

“Retirement living is a sector that we had identified early on as offering strong long-term fundamentals in which attractive risk-adjusted returns are achievable. We believe Audley Group has the management experience and scale to deliver,” Thomas Mueller, BlackRock portfolio manager said.

In a separate announcement, BlackRock said it has acted as the majority debt provider on Heylo housing’s £362.5m (€419.2m) acquisition of a portfolio of 3,000 shared-ownership homes.

The funding marks BlackRock Real Assets’ eighteenth investment in the UK residential sector, where it has so far committed £1.1bn.

Jonathan Stevens, the head of European infrastructure debt at BlackRock, said: “Heylo housing plays an important role in supporting the provision of affordable housing in the UK and we’re thrilled to assist its latest acquisition.

“The transaction demonstrates BlackRock’s ability to provide sizeable, flexible debt solutions and our pursuit of investments aligned with clients’ ESG commitments.”

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