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£1bn of European money will fund construction of new social housing in UK
Emma Kennedy - May 2, 2016

The UK Government may have lost interest in funding new social housing but Europe has stepped into the breach with a billion pound offer to fund delivery of 20,000 homes.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide £1bn for new social housing investment across the UK, in partnership with the Housing Finance Corporation (HFC). The money is said to be the bank’s largest ever support for social housing anywhere in Europe.

This isn’t the first time the EIB has invested in low-cost housing in Britain. This latest announcement follows the allocation of a previous £500 million loan, signed in December 2013, under the Affordable Housing Finance (AHF) initiative, to registered providers of social housing in the UK.

The 30-year long-term EIB loan will be matched by HFC, and benefit from a government guarantee, and is expected to support £2bn of overall investment in new social housing and urban regeneration schemes by housing association across the country.

Over 20,000 new affordable homes backed by EIB are expected to be built under the initiative and local housing associations expected to build new affordable properties range from some of the largest London based housing associations to community based associations in areas as diverse as Glasgow, Wigan, Scarborough, Bradford, and Cambridge.

EIB vice president, Jonathan Taylor said:

“The European Investment Bank has a firm commitment to supporting investment in social and affordable housing across the UK, where we provide nearly half of overall EIB support for social housing in Europe.

This record new backing builds on a successful partnership with HFC and the EIB’s strong track record of providing nearly £2bn for investment in social housing by more than seventy housing associations across the country. Local investment under this initiative will improve lives, create jobs and cut heating bills in homes across the UK.”