Housing association lands £235m sustainability loan

Platform Housing has secured a £235m sustainability loan from Lloyds Bank, to help it develop new affordable housing and decarbonise its existing portfolio.

The funding is Lloyds Bank’s biggest sustainability-linked loan for the social housing sector to date.

Platform Housing is the largest housing association in the Midlands, with a portfolio of around 47,000 homes serving over 100,000 people in the region. The association employs around 1,500 staff.

Rosemary Farrar, the chief finance officer at Platform Housing, said: “The Midlands has one of the most acute housing shortages in the country. That means developing stock that is both fit for purpose and fit for the future is crucial.

“We’re proud that our ambitions cover a range of ESG objectives and will deliver a housing portfolio that benefits the communities we operate in across the region.”

In order to secure margin discounts on the funding, three KPIs will be measured.

The first is to improve the energy efficiency rating of its existing portfolio by improving the fabric of buildings and introducing low carbon technologies to heat and power homes.

The second KPI will aim to increase the energy efficiency of all of its new build properties, alongside improving its Standard Assessment Procedure scores up, towards an average of A within the next five years.

This will be supported by Platform’s recent Homes England bid, where a grant of £250m was secured to develop 4,600 homes, of which more than 25% will be built using modern construction methods.

The final KPI is linked to Platform’s objective to invest in its colleagues and communities by increasing the proportion of those undertaking apprenticeships each year.

Jatinder Dhaliwal, regional head of housing at Lloyds Bank, said: “Platform Housing is committed to enhancing its ESG offering to its communities and within the social housing sector and we’re proud to help the association on its journey.

“This funding will make a lasting impact on the quality and availability of housing across the Midlands and we’re looking forward to working closely with Platform as it delivers its objectives.”