UK Housing associations Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA), Thirteen Housing, Watford Community Housing and Yorkshire Housing have received £256.5m (€299m) worth of loans issued via the UK government-backed affordable housing lending scheme managed by ARA Venn.

European investment manager ARA Venn, which manages the government’s Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme (AHGS), said the loans to the four housing associations were funded from the issuance of a 10-year, £350m bond issued by Saltaire Finance, the funding vehicle for AHGS.

The loan will help the associations develop more than 1,500 new affordable homes across the North East, East Midlands and East of England.

ARA Venn said the remaining £93.5m of the bond issuance would be retained to fund other loan applications currently being processed.

Naomi Dobraszczyc, director of finance and resources at NCHA, said: “At NCHA we are developing 1,850 homes over the next five years. We remain committed to providing more affordable homes for our communities across the East Midlands, to help fulfill an ever-growing need during the cost of living crisis.

“This is NCHA’s second round of funding via the AHGS scheme. Our main driver for returning was the excellent value we know we can rely on. And, as a repeat borrower, we benefited from a streamlined application process.”

Jane Castor, CFO at Thirteen Housing, said: “As a strategic partner to Homes England with an ambitious development programme over the next five years, we are pleased to have secured funding to support the financially viable delivery of high-quality and modern homes in our communities.”

Paul Richmond, deputy CEO at Watford Community Housing, said: “We are delighted to be working with ARA Venn in securing a second round of funding with them following the success of our first funding round in November 2021.

“This additional funding round provides value for money to Watford Community Housing and it will help us deliver on our growth aspirations in South West Hertfordshire.”

Rob Parkes, director of finance at Yorkshire Housing, said: “This new funding is a positive step forward for Yorkshire Housing and the wider sector, enabling us to deliver on our plans to provide more affordable homes for people across Yorkshire.”

Oriane Auzanneau, deputy portfolio manager for AHGS and managing director at ARA Venn, said: “It is great to now be able to offer 10-year funding under this new bond series, which was developed to support those borrowers expressing a preference for shorter maturities.

“Borrowers accessing funding under AHGS now have more options available to meet their treasury requirements whilst taking advantage of the competitive pricing of the scheme.”

ARA Venn’s AHGS mandate is to provide £3bn of long-term loans, of up to 30 years, to private registered providers developing new affordable homes in England. The government has the option to increase the scheme by a further £3bn to £6bn.

AHGS is the second UK government lending scheme awarded to ARA Venn following the £3.5bn PRS Guarantee Scheme awarded in 2015 which was dedicated to the private rented sector. 

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