The funding totals £275mn with £175mn coming from NAB and £100mn from ABN, representing the Banks’ biggest sustainability-linked loans for the social housing sector to date. The loans will be used to support Platform’s corporate strategy, which is centred on the provision of affordable, sustainable and quality homes to new and existing customers.
The association will be measured by sustainability linked targets (KPIs) which if achieved, will secure preferential terms to the cost of the funding. The KPIs are linked to improvements in the energy efficiency of its existing portfolio, the energy efficiency of its new build properties and improving black and minority ethnic colleague representation, relative to demographics of the operational areas of Platform and national averages.
Hitting the targets will be supported through Platform’s ambitions to:
Move all homes to EPC C or better by 2030 by improving the fabric of buildings and introducing low carbon technologies to heat and power homes;
Enhance the specification of new build homes, with land-led homes to be developed ‘gas-free’;
Encourage diversity throughout its operations with specific training aimed at educating all employees on diversity, bias and how they affect day-to-day working practices.
Platform Housing, rated A+ / A+ by S&P and Fitch, is the largest housing association in the Midlands, with a portfolio of around 50,000 homes serving over 100,000 people in the region. The association employs around 1,500 staff.
Rosemary Farrar, Chief Finance Officer at Platform Housing, said: “We are in the midst of an acute housing shortage across the country and we’re committed to play an active role in being part of the solution. That means developing and improving homes that are both fit for purpose and fit for the future. These new loans allow us to partner with existing and new relationship banks in putting our customers first and delivering social and environmental benefits.”
George Ryan-Smith, Director an ABN Amro said: “ABN AMRO is delighted to begin its relationship with Platform Housing. From the very first meeting, it was clear Platform’s strong ESG ambitions harmonised perfectly with our sustainability agenda. It was a pleasure to work with the Platform team. The effective collaboration ensured the financing package was tailored to Platform’s needs, whilst also remaining within our risk appetite. We are pleased to support Platform in its active and pivotal role of developing and improving homes across the country. ABN AMRO looks forward to building a long term relationship with Platform as an exciting new client in our UK Social Housing portfolio”.
Michael Carr, Director at National Australia Bank said “National Australia Bank is committed to funding more affordable housing for people in need in the UK. We are delighted to support one of our core UK clients to continue its ambitions to build new sustainable and affordable homes that will make a positive difference to people’s lives in the Midlands”.