Glasgow association secures “groundbreaking” finance partnership to build new homes

L-R: Betty Macneill (vice chair, SHA); Margaret McIntyre (chairperson, SHA); Mandy Wright (head of finance, SHA); and Michael McCuaig (corporate banking manager, Handelsbanken)

A GLASGOW housing association has revealed it has agreed a £30 million deal with Swedish bank Handelsbanken to help finance new build properties and a programme of improvements.

Southside Housing Association (SHA) will use the loan facility to help pay for upgrades to existing properties and the building of more than 260 new homes in the Pollokshields and Cardonald areas of the city.

The five-year facility is in the form of a revolving credit facility, and allows SHA to draw on funds when needed, converting the borrowing into longer-term loans.

The deal marks the first time Handelsbanken has entered the social housing market in Scotland.

Mandy Wright, head of finance at SHA said, “The securing of this loan was very much a collaborative approach between ourselves and the bank and I look forward to this continuing. The nature of the loan facility provides a lot of flexibility and lets us access the funding as and when it best fits our major spend profile over the next three to five years.”

Margaret McIntyre, chairperson at SHA added, “We are very proud to have secured this loan facility with Handelsbanken. It will allow us to continue to invest record levels in our tenants’ homes, particularly for new heating, and will also support our programme of new homes for people who desperately need affordable accommodation.”

Michael McCuaig, corporate banking manager at Handelsbanken commented, “Southside Housing Association has a first class reputation within social housing and we are very proud of this partnership, and supportive of the association’s five year plan. At Handelsbanken we have a unique business model concentrating on our local market. Each branch operates as a local business, enabling it to make decisions locally and provide a bespoke service to our clients.

“Working closely with Southside Housing Association provides us with a fantastic opportunity to invest in Glasgow, boosting the local economy and delivering much-needed affordable housing to the south side of Glasgow.”

As well as building new properties, SHA will also use the funding to renovate almost 700 homes. Many will have existing electric storage heating systems replaced with modern air source heat pump systems.