Funding programme for social landlords to build affordable homes reopens in Scotland


SOCIAL landlords in Scotland will be able to access loans to build more affordable housing as an investment programme reopens to applications.

The Scottish Government has announced that, under the Charitable Bond programme, registered housing associations can access loans with up to £80 million available in the current financial year. The interest paid will be reinvested as grants into the social rented sector.

Since 2014, more than £260 million in loans have been made to housing associations through the programme, generating almost £50 million in grants.

Scottish Government housing secretary Shona Robison said, “The Charitable Bond programme is an innovative way to offer funding to social landlords so that they can deliver as many homes as possible. The programme gives social landlords access to funding that they can’t receive elsewhere, and reinvests the interest paid on the loans – further increasing housing supply.

“Scotland has led the way in the delivery of affordable housing across the UK with almost 113,000 affordable homes built since 2007. This investment will help towards our current target of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032.”

The programme is delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by Allia C&C, a social enterprise finance firm that arranges funding for housing associations and other charities.

Peter Freer, director for Scotland at Allia C&C, said, “This programme provides a form of unsecured finance that isn’t otherwise available in the market to enable Scottish housing associations to deliver much needed affordable homes. We’re delighted to continue our successful eight-year partnership with the Scottish Government with an even greater target for investment across the sector over the next four years.”

Scottish Registered Social Landlords can access unsecured loans starting from £1 million on terms of up to 15 years. The interest paid on these loans creates a fund which is used to make housing grants for the provision of additional social rented housing.

This will be the third round of the Charitable Bond programme. Following pilot projects in 2014 and 2015, the first round of the programme ran from 2015 to 2017, with the second from 2017 to March 2021.