Homes provider gains a £150m loan facility
A PRIVATE loan facility of £150 million will be made available to Andium Homes as it continues with plans to build 3,000 more homes in the Island over the next decade.
The government-owned social-housing provider, which is already developing 730 new units, has now exhausted £220 million of funding it received from a government bond of £250 million that was issued in 2014.
And Assistant Treasury Minister Lindsay Ash has signed a ministerial decision to approve a new facility provided by NatWest and HSBC to further back Andium’s plans.
Lindsay Wood, Andium’s finance director, said the agreement to provide the facility showed the banks were ‘confident’ in the arm’s-length company’s business model.
‘I am delighted to have reached agreement with HSBC and NatWest International for the additional borrowing, which will be repaid by the income generated from the homes developed,’ she said.
‘Andium’s business model continues to be low risk and this is reflected in the competitive deal we have secured with lenders – the £150m is on an entirely unsecured basis.
‘The borrowing will result in more people having the security of a home they can both afford and enjoy.’
She added that the interest rate for the new loan was better than that for the previous government facility.
Deputy Ash said that Andium Homes was the ‘principal delivery vehicle’ for the government to provide affordable housing.
‘Ensuring that the necessary funds are available is key to enable the company’s continued success in providing the homes our Island so badly needs,’ he said.
‘As the shareholder representative I am delighted with the collaborative work that has taken place between the Treasury and the Andium team to achieve this.’
Mark Thorpe, HSBC’s relationship director for commercial banking, said that the bank was ‘proud to contribute to this landmark initiative for housing in Jersey’.
Jamie Soulsby, the portfolio director for NatWest International, added: ‘Providing Andium with loan funding enables them to provide significantly more affordable homes to local families who need them.’
Last year’s Objective Assessment of Housing Need Report indicated that 7,000 new homes would be needed in Jersey by 2030, if current migration trends continue.
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