Plymouth’s largest social housing landlord, Plymouth Community Homes (PCH), will drive forward plans to build approximately 1,000 new affordable homes by 2026 after securing eight-figure funding from NatWest.
PCH will use the £65 million funding package to grow its existing portfolio of more than 16,000 homes. The majority of the new homes will be let at affordable rent, with shared ownership homes also being developed, in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.
The finance package, a SONIA (Sterling Overnight Index Average) funded risk-free loan, will also support PCH’s investment into maintaining the high standard of its existing homes.
Founded in 2009, PCH is Plymouth’s largest affordable housing provider, supplying social housing for more than 35,000 people in Plymouth, as well as acting as a commercial landlord managing more than 170 shops. Under its brand SO Living, PCH also offers shared ownership homes across Devon and Cornwall and has sold 167 shared ownership homes in the city and wider region since 2012.
It employs 642 full-time staff across the business and offers residents support to help them obtain qualifications and useful skills for work and home life.
Nick Jackson, Director of Business Services and Development at PCH, said: “Thanks to the funding from NatWest, we can both expand our portfolio of affordable homes, as well as ensuring we maintain and invest in our existing properties and continue the great services we offer.
“As we expand, we will continue to focus on improving lives by providing affordable homes and great services. We’ll also maintain our programme of improving our blocks of flats as well as community initiatives, courses and training sessions which we believe are essential in supporting our residents and creating thriving communities. The interest cover covenants will allow us to undertake the modernisation of our blocks of flats with more flexibility.”
The funding forms part of NatWest’s commitment last year to support the housing association sector with £3 billion of finance until the end of 2022. This will support the increase in provision of social housing, as well as the improvement of existing properties.
Dean Holleyman, NatWest Director, Housing Finance England and Wales, said: “We have worked with PCH since its inception in 2009. The investment and work that PCH have undertaken during this time has positively transformed both the lives of its tenants and communities it serves. We are rightly delighted and proud that our support for PCH will help them to continue this great work with further investment in its new and existing homes in Plymouth and the surrounding areas.”