Legal & General is backing UK housing association Believe Housing’s affordable homes programme with an £85m (€97.5m) debt funding.

The investment, made by LGIM Real Assets on behalf of its clients including Legal & General Retirement Institutional, will support Believe Housing’s strategic development goal to deliver over 1,200 new affordable homes over the next five years. 

Believe Housing will use the funding to refinance existing debt, deliver new homes, and for general corporate purposes including investments in existing homes, the asset manager said. The housing association’s 18,000 homes cover almost 900sq miles from the Durham coast to the Pennines.

This latest investment marks LGIM Real Assets second recent partnership with a social housing provider operating in North East England, following its commitment to Bernicia last year.

Steve Bolton, the head of private corporate debt, Europe, said: “This is an important transaction for LGIM Real Assets, believe housing, and the housing association sector more broadly.

“We’re delighted to place decarbonisation firmly at the centre of the investment, rather than something that’s talked about on the side-lines.”

Alan Smith, executive director of investment, growth and performance at Believe Housing, said: “This funding will guarantee that our vision of a life without barriers can be brought to more people right across the region.

“It’s great news for us, and the affordable housing sector as a whole, that major private sector funders share our passion for doing the right thing for customers, for the business and in this case for the environment too.”

Sohail Singal, associate director at Chatham Financial, said, “We are delighted to have led this transaction and supported believe housing on this ground-breaking private placement.

“The strong demand from investors during the bidding process is testament to Believe Housing’s unique credit story. Furthermore, the notes, which are sustainability-linked, will support their desire to grow and deliver a positive ESG impact and continue to change peoples’ lives.”

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