Welsh housing association secures funding for 1,000 energy-efficient homes

Cartrefi Conwy has secured a £39 million financial package to help it provide new affordable homes and tackle homelessness.
Conwy, North Wales. Credit: Pixabay

The Welsh housing association Cartrefi Conwy aims to build 1,000 new energy-efficient homes after securing a £39 million financial package, partly from the Welsh government.

The North Wales landlord has become the first social landlord in Wales to tap into Lloyds Bank’s sustainability-linked funding with the bank providing £22 million towards the total.

Cartefi Conway will benefit from lower interest rates from Lloyds in order to support its provision of affordable, zero carbon homes and its work in tackling homelessness.

The housing association has hailed the package as a ‘gamechanger’ which will help the organisation grow and boost the North Wales economy after COVID-19.

Cartrefi Conway’s chief executive Andrew Bowden said: “This is private money coming in which is supplemented by Welsh government money and, if the social housing grant levels are maintained at current levels, it means that £39 million effectively becomes nearly £100 million of additional money available.

“This is the fantastic thing about having housing associations in that we can really make Welsh government public sector funding go as far as it can in building new affordable social homes in North Wales.

“When you factor in the economic multipliers, it all adds up to a massive £186 million boost for North Wales economy and will create 4,500 jobs over the 10-year period.

“It’s a big win for our community because we’re spending our money in Wales and our tenants will also benefit from good quality, well maintained and cheap to run homes.”

Cartrefi Conway’s subsidiary Creating Enterprise has exclusive rights to the ultra-low energy building system Passivhaus in North Wales after signing a five-year contract with experts Beattie Passive earlier this year.

Creating Enterprise is responsible for maintaining Cartrefi’s 4,000 homes and helps local people find employment, training and volunteering opportunities.

Bowden said that the new finance package will allow Cartrefi to ‘bring our strategy to life, [which] is absolutely fantastic news’.

He added that the deal was possible due to Cartrefi’s track record, ‘which put us in the enviable position of having offers from a range of funders and gave us the ability to choose deals which best suited our company, our circumstances and our ambition’.

Cartrefi will now use the funding to deliver affordable, energy-efficient homes and work closely with local authorities and health partners across North Wales to tackle homelessness in the region.

Christopher Yau, origination and sustainability director at Lloyds Bank, said: “This deal will enable Cartrefi Conwy to play a part in the wider economic recovery, creating jobs, building sustainable homes and helping improve the lives of its residents in North Wales.

“By structuring this funding package in-line with the latest standards for sustainability in social housing, it will also help the region’s homes to become greener and cheaper to live in.”

Cartrefi formed in 2018 as result of a stock transferfrom Conwy County Borough Council in 2008. It now manages 4,000 homes across the county of Conwy.

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