LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General) has provided €97.7m (£85m) in long-term financing to believe housing, one of the largest affordable homes providers in North East England. The funding will support believe housing’s strategic development goal to deliver over 1,200 new affordable homes over the next five years. The housing association’s 18,000 homes cover almost 900 square miles from the Durham coast to the Pennines. With LGIM Real Assets commitment, believe housing will use the funding to refinance existing debt, deliver new homes, and for general corporate purposes including investments in existing homes. believe housing has also recently become the first organisation in the sector to achieve the Carbon Neutral International Standard, demonstrating its commitment to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency.
Steve Bolton, 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 sidelines. 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, and spur economic activity. The fundamental need for good quality, affordable homes has not changed. We are delighted to bolster our commitment to the social housing sector, and investment in the North East. believe housing marks yet another milestone for Legal & General’s backing for the North East, having recently committed €115m (£100m) and €402.4m (£350m) to landmark regeneration projects in Sunderland and Newcastle respectively.”
Alan Smith, Executive Director of Investment, Growth and Performance at believe housing, commented: “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 a 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.”