New deal unlocks £35m funding pot

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Suffolk Housing has secured a £35m finance package to invest into providing new affordable homes for people in housing need.

The package is made up of a £20m privately placed 33 year loan from Canada Life Investments and a £15m revolving credit facility provided by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Both deals were brokered by Lloyds Bank.

The money will be used to expand Suffolk Housing’s stock, which currently totals just over 2,000 homes, to help meet a growing demand for affordable properties across Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk.

Ian Winslet, Suffolk Housing’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to negotiate this excellent finance package with Lloyds and Canada Life Investments.

“Since we were formed, we’ve played a valuable role in providing sustainable, high quality housing to a diverse range of people in our local community. Sustainable finance has been central to our strategy, which includes a commitment to build at least 60 new homes every year.

“This funding package represents the next milestone in our development, enabling us to develop almost 750 homes over the next four years and make a significant, positive social impact in our region. It will also allow us to maintain the high quality of our units and services to existing tenants.”

Sanjay Narbheram, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “This deal not only represents a great fit for Suffolk Housing’s short and long-term requirements, but also charts the continuing shift in funding options for smaller UK housing associations. We expect more organisations to explore similar private placements of this kind over the coming months.

“By leveraging investor contacts and effectively structuring the placement to ensure appropriate terms of pricing, security and covenants, capital was secured to support Suffolk Housing’s long-term development ambitions.

“The deal allowed various teams across the bank to collaborate to provide the placement, senior debt and added value services, working with the organisation’s high calibre management team. We are delighted to be able to extend our commitment to the organisation, as well as the East of England.”

David Marchant, head of securities at Canada Life Investments said: “We are delighted to establish a long-term working relationship with Suffolk Housing, a financially strong and prudent association. At a time when traditional sources of lending have come under pressure, we are pleased to support financing alternatives to the small to medium sized housing associations.”