One of the UK’s largest housing associations has received support from Lloyds Bank that will further help its long-term plan to improve the sustainability of its 55,000 home portfolio.
Home Group will improve the sustainability and quality of its homes across the UK and build over 1,000 new homes a year after agreeing a £125m sustainable funding facility with Lloyds Bank.
The Newcastle-based organisation has secured the refinancing of its sustainability-linked loan (SLL) as it continues to invest in the energy efficiency of its current stock of properties, builds over 1,000 new homes a year to address the ongoing housing shortage and engages with and supports its local communities.
The £125m revolving credit facility includes a range of environmental and social targets the association must meet to secure margin discounts on its funding. These include enhancing the energy efficiency of its stock to help tackle fuel poverty and decarbonise its homes, building over 4,000 new, energy efficient homes in the next five years and offering at least 120 apprenticeships a year across its communities.
With homes in England and Scotland, Home Group supports over 115,000 tenants across 55,000 properties, which includes accommodation-based support for around 15,000 people with mental and physical health challenges.
Home Group has recently set out a 30-year sustainability roadmap in support of its, and the Government’s support for the UN’s goal to stabilise the amount of human-induced greenhouse gases.
It has recently led a pioneering project in Gateshead looking at the most sustainable ways to construct and heat homes at scale. It is also a founding partner of the Greener Futures Partnership – set up with four other housing associations – based on the shared ambitions to lower emissions, reduce fuel poverty and improve living conditions for residents by creating sustainable, affordable, healthier and safer homes.
Earlier in the year Lloyds Bank pledged to deliver £1.5bn in funding to the social housing sector in 2021, with at least £500m dedicated to ESG spending. The bank delivered £9bn in funding to the sector from 2018 to the end of 2020 and a further £2bn in the first six months of 2021 of which £1.4m was ESG-linked.
Steve Hallowell, Director of Treasury and Investor Relations at Home Group, said: “We have a clear, and wholly achievable plan to ensure our homes are future-proofed, sustainable and fit-for-purpose for our customers.
“Working alongside Lloyds Bank will enhance our ability to tackle the challenges that come with meeting our own ambitious targets while improving the communities in which we operate.
“This funding will be crucial as we continue to develop and invest in the best options for improving the energy efficiency of our current stock of properties, address the need for quality, affordable houses across the country and create jobs.
“It’s reassuring that banks like Lloyds not only share our ambitions, but are willing to make significant investment to ensure we achieve them.”
Melanie Russell, Relationship Director for Housing at Lloyds Bank, commented: “Three themes will run to the heart of the fightback from the pandemic – the ESG agenda, regional regeneration and meeting the need for affordable housing. Home Group is tackling all three head-on in a way that will have a positive impact in the communities it operates in for years to come.
“We’re proud to support the association as it works to meet its ambitious targets and address the critical need to make our homes more energy-efficient.”
This deal follows the recent £425m funding package provided for Paradigm Housing and demonstrates the increasing momentum of sustainability-linking financing across the social housing sector.