Legal & General is supporting UK housing association Bernicia’s affordable homes programme with a £75m (€82m) financing.

The investment, made by LGIM Real Assets, will help Bernicia’s plan to deliver 650 homes in northeast England by 2023.

Legal & General said the latest funding takes its commitment to affordable housing to over £1.5bn.

Steve Bolton, head of private corporate debt, Europe, said: “Whilst we have seen a lot of change over the past few months, the fundamental need for good quality, affordable homes has not changed. If COVID has shown us anything, it’s that we all need a safe place to call home. COVID, and the actions taken to mitigate its spread, highlight the central role of the home in people’s lives.

“Legal & General is uniquely placed to invest annuity money into the UK economy, supporting its long-term pension commitments and creating real assets which provide jobs, housing, productivity and wage growth.”

This £75m investment in Bernicia marks another significant milestone for Legal & General’s investment in the North East, having recently committed £100m and £350m to landmark regeneration projects in Sunderland and Newcastle respectively, Bolton said.

Janette Longstaff, Bernicia executive director of finance, said: “This important investment from Legal & General Investment Management – as the sole investor in the deal - represents a huge vote of confidence in Bernicia’s financial strength as well as the wider north-east economy.

“It allows us to secure long-term funding at very favourable rates thanks to our strong financial standing and excellent governance.

“The funds, which will be provided in three drawdowns over a two-year period, allow us to not only meet our corporate strategic objectives, but to go much further enabling us to explore strategic opportunities with our local authority partners, support local supply chains and create more opportunities for the people of the northeast.”

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