RBH secures £75m funding package

Date published: 21 January 2022

Mutual housing society Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) has secured a £75m funding package for new homes and investment in existing homes.

The funding has been provided by three lenders, with Danske Bank contributing £50m, Santander £10m, and MORhomes £15m.

The new agreement will help RBH to deliver its priorities over the coming years. This includes over 1,000 new homes across the borough, a £7m decarbonisation pilot as a first step to becoming carbon neutral by the Greater Manchester target of 2038, continued investment in RBH's regeneration of Rochdale town centre, and a comprehensive programme of improvements to existing homes.

Gareth Swarbrick, RBH Chief Executive, said: "As a mutual housing society, our priorities are set by our tenant and employee members. This new funding agreement will help us to deliver on those priorities - including building more new homes, continuing our town centre regeneration programme, and helping us to move our existing homes towards the Greater Manchester carbon neutral target of 2038.

"This funding agreement also shows that we can be confident in our pioneering mutual governance model - it has delivered a sustainable, viable, and well-run housing provider which is able to invest for the benefit of current tenants and future generations."

Dominic O’Neill, Corporate Banking Manager at Danske Bank UK, added: “We are delighted to be providing funding to RBH for a programme that will see much needed affordable homes built to meet the high demand for new housing in the local community. As a bank committed to supporting the transition to a sustainable future and to helping our customers reduce their own climate impacts, we particularly welcome that the funding will also support a significant decarbonisation pilot scheme.

"This funding agreement is the latest in a series of transactions we have completed across the UK in the past year as part of our strategic growth plan to support the social housing sector.”

Robert Simmons, Relationship Director, Santander UK said: “We’re delighted to continue the relationship with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing and to support them in their provision of much needed affordable housing in Rochdale, alongside regeneration and delivering on the carbon-neutral agenda.”

Patrick Symington, MORhomes PLC Chief Executive, said: "MORhomes is a group borrowing platform for Housing Associations and we are delighted to welcome RBH as our 21st borrower. The £15m lent to RBH was raised on the capital markets via MORhomes’ Sustainability Bond.

"We congratulate RBH on achieving a very high standard in our independently validated Sustainable Housing Assessment to qualify for the sustainability funds. We are proud to be helping organisations like RBH play their part in the national effort to provide more social housing and combat climate change.”

Patrick Reim, from Chatham Financial Europe Ltd, said: “We were delighted to support RBH through this refinancing exercise. The flexibility RBH has achieved means it now leads the sector in terms of futureproofing its portfolio against future capital investment, and the liquidity raised will allow RBH to deliver homes and services with even more social impact around the borough.”

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