Octopus Real Estate has entered the UK affordable housing market with the acquisition of a registered provider of social housing and appointed Elizabeth Austerberry as chair of the acquired housing provider.

Austerberry joins following her retirement as CEO of housing association Moat, which she has led since 2013. She previously held senior roles at EY, Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas, Savills and the National Housing Federation.

The specialist real estate investor said the acquisition will ensure Octopus is subject to appropriate regulatory oversight and enables the company to “draw on grant funding to support the delivery of new homes”.

Benjamin Davis, the CEO of Octopus Real Estate, said: “We are launching an affordable housing strategy now because the current cost of living crisis is rapidly increasing the already urgent need for quality, genuinely affordable homes.

“The costs of decarbonisation, as well as the ongoing impact of post-Grenfell regulations, are restricting the amount of new development many housing associations can undertake at a time when delivery needs to increase significantly. We believe we can help solve these challenges together, as long-term partners.”

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