The South West social landlord Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) has secured £65 million in funding from NatWest to drive forward its plans to build more affordable homes.
The 16,000-home landlord plans to use the finance package to grow its portfolio and build around 1,000 new affordable homes by 2026.
PCH says the majority of the new homes will be let at affordable rent. It will also develop new shared ownership homes in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.
The SONIA (Sterling Overnight Index Average) funded risk-free loan will also support PCH’s investment into maintaining its existing homes.
Nick Jackson, director of business services and development at PCH, said: “Thanks to the funding from NatWest, we can both expand our portfolio of affordable homes, as well as ensuring we maintain and invest in our existing properties and continue the great services we offer.
“As we expand, we will continue to focus on improving lives by providing affordable homes and great services. We’ll also maintain our programme of improving our blocks of flats as well as community initiatives, courses and training sessions which we believe are essential in supporting our residents and creating thriving communities.
“The interest cover covenants will allow us to undertake the modernisation of our blocks of flats with more flexibility.”
PCH is Plymouth’s largest affordable housing provider, supplying social housing for over 35,000 people in Plymouth. It also acts as a commercial landlord managing over 170 shops.
Its shared ownership brand SO Living offers shared ownership homes across the counties of Devon and Cornwall.
Last year PCH struck a deal with Plymouth City Council to build 601 new homes for the local authority, 444 of them affordable homes. Up to 1,500 new homes could be delivered through the partnership’s lifetime.
The funding forms part of NatWest’s commitment last year to support the social housing sector with £3 billion of finance until the end of 2022. The pledge aims to support an increase in new social housing as well as the improvement of existing properties.
Dean Holleyman, NatWest’s director of housing finance for England and Wales, said: “We have worked with PCH since its inception in 2009. The investment and work that PCH have undertaken during this time has positively transformed both the lives of its tenants and communities it serves.
“We are rightly delighted and proud that our support for PCH will help them to continue this great work with further investment in its new and existing homes in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.”
Image: Porsham Heights, one of Plymouth Community Homes’ developments in Plymouth. Credit: PCH.