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EIB invests £1 billion in UK social housing

Tue 26 Apr 2016

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to invest £1 billion in the UK's social housing sector.

The body is working in partnership with The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC) in an effort to tackle the shortage of affordable housing in many parts of the country.

In addition, they hope to speed up the construction of new-build social housing across Britain.

According to the EIB, this is the largest ever support for social housing in Europe and will be underpinned by a government guarantee.

This will bring down the cost of borrowing and potentially facilitate the creation of up to 20,000 new properties.

Jonathan Taylor, vice-president of the EIB, said the organisation has a "firm commitment" to supporting investment in affordable and social housing throughout Britain, where it already provides nearly half of overall EIB support for social housing in Europe.

He stated that this latest development will build on its successful partnership with THFC and the EIB's "strong track record of providing nearly £2 billion for investment in social housing by more than 70 housing associations across the country".

Mr Taylor went on to state that local investment under this initiative will "improve lives, create jobs and cut heating bills" in homes all over the UK.

Since 1998, the EIB has provided more than £4.2 billion to support investment in social housing and urban renewal programmes in Britain.

Much of this has been carried out in partnership with THFC, although it has also been working with major housing associations such as Sanctuary Housing in recent years.

Louise Leaver, a partner and head of housing finance at Winckworth Sherwood Solicitors, commented: "Having acted for a number of clients on THFC loans (funded by EIB), we are now seeing a number of larger housing association clients enter into loan agreements directly with EIB.  They are usually to fund specific development programmes and require a significant level of due diligence but can provide access to long-term funding on reasonable terms."

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