£520 million deal to build and improve homes

Published 25 June 2020

Housing Association, WDH, has secured funding to build over 5,000 new homes, more than double what was originally planned and deliver its Business Strategy with the help of partners Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Santander and The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC).

The £520 million funding deal will enable WDH to deliver its long term strategy to provide homes where people want to live across Yorkshire and the Humber and to invest in improvements to existing homes.

The deal enables the housing association to respond to the government’s agenda to deliver much needed low cost housing in and around the Wakefield district.

Andrew Wallhead, WDH’s Chief Executive, said: “This agreement will enable us to realise our ambitions to deliver more homes and change lives. At WDH we do much more than provide houses for people to live in. We invest significant amounts into programmes and services that support the health and wellbeing of our tenants and create confident communities where tenants have the opportunity to shape services and drive improvements. The funding will enable us to deliver our recently launched Business Strategy which was developed with input from all of our stakeholders, most importantly our tenants. We couldn’t have got this deal over the line, without the support and partnership working from all involved.”

WDH will use the funding to deliver a strategy focused on increasing high quality affordable housing; providing excellent, value for money, tenant shaped services; supporting tenants and communities; and investment in employees, the business and sustainability.

The Association, which currently owns over 32,000 properties across the Yorkshire and Humber, has bold ambitions to deliver 5,000 homes over the coming years.

Andrew said: “This deal is transformational for us. With the support of our banking partners, we are now able to provide double the number of new homes we had planned before the deal was signed. The deal has afforded us freedom to respond to the changing landscape, the opportunity to grow our housing stock in line with the expectations of the Regulator of Social Housing and will enable us to deliver on our value for money promises to tenants, reinvesting in projects that generate a significant social return on investment.”

David Horne, Director, Housing Finance, Real Estate Finance at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The importance, need and difference good quality housing stock can provide has never been more acute. WDH is a long standing customer of the Royal Bank of Scotland and we are delighted to be working with the organisation to help realise its strategic ambitions for Yorkshire and Humber.

“This partnership will help deliver affordable homes for thousands of families across the region and make a real difference to individuals and communities for years to come. It is really satisfying to be able to successfully complete the refinancing, which will see our funding support for WDH significantly increase and help provide much needed flexibility to the housing association going forward, particularly given the unprecedented times we all find ourselves in.”

Glenn Dennis, Santander’s Relationship Director, Housing Finance said: “As a long standing customer of Santander, we were pleased to be able to continue working in partnership with Wakefield and District Housing through the new bilateral loan facilities. We believe that the refinancing provides the platform for the organisation’s growth ambitions to materialise, providing much needed housing and services to its tenants. The demand for such services is more crucial now than ever and we look forward to continuing to support WDH’s strategic journey.”  


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