L&G secures loan to Rooftop as it continues to support UK-wide housing development

Legal & General (L&G) announces that it has agreed a £40 million, 20 year debt facility to Rooftop Housing Group, to support the delivery of up to 900 much-needed affordable homes by 2018 as it continues to invest heavily in readdressing the UK’s housing shortage.

Formed in 1993 to accept a transfer of 4,020 homes from Wychavon District Council in South Worcestershire, the principal activity of Rooftop Housing Group is to provide rented housing accommodation for people in need of affordable housing. As at April 2014, the Group now provides over 6,150 homes and has an annual turnover of £31 million.

Operating across South Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, today the Group work more widely providing staff accommodation for Hospital Trusts and has also partnered with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust to offer two ExtraCare retirement schemes, in Yates Court, Evesham and St. Oswald’s Village, Gloucester. These schemes are special because of the facilities they offer. ExtraCare’s approach is based on the principle that age, health or financial means shouldn’t be a barrier to enjoying a high quality of life in later years.

With a high commitment to improving the sustainability of UK homes, Rooftop also seeks to implement a number of forward thinking sustainability measures into its properties, with flagship projects including its development at Blakes Hill, North Littleton which has achieved Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6, the highest possible rating of energy efficiency.

Alex Gipson, Lending Manager at Legal & General, said: "Through both discussing the aspirations of the group with the executive team and visiting some of their historic and current developments, there were a number of strategic areas which clearly resonated with L&G’s own views. Providing quality accommodation for those in retirement and promoting the long terms benefits of sustainable development are key interests of both organisations and an excellent base upon which to commence an ongoing relationship."

Caroline Dykes, Finance Director, at Rooftop Housing Group, commented: "With a shared view on the role we can both play in helping to provide affordable housing and support people through all stages of their life cycle including retirement, as well as a progressive attitude to green development, we look forward to working closely with L&G over the next 20 years as we bring forward a significant development pipeline. Additionally, by staggering the drawdown over the period through to August 2015, the loan takes a much more flexible and innovative approach to supporting our cash flow requirements than standard solutions in the market."

Laura Mason, Director of Direct Investments at Legal & General Capital, said: "Using long dated annuity money to support the long term housing and infrastructure needs of the UK, this is yet another example of the opportunities that exist for L&G to help be part of the UK’s wider economic growth story whilst also providing strong risk adjusted returns."

Other recent social housing deals concluded by L&G have included a £50 million, 40 year debt facility to Housing Solutions, a £102 million, 15 year debt facility to The Hyde Group and a £40 million, 25 year debt facility to Thames Valley Housing Association. It also recently secured a portfolio of over 4,000 housing units, let to Places for People on a new 50 year lease, for £252 million.