Latest deal paves way for housing associations to access liquidity on flexible terms.
bLEND has created a new form of flexible loan facility with its £100m offer to VIVID Housing (‘VIVID’). The new facility will provide flexibility for VIVID, giving it up to three years to draw down in smaller amounts if required. The approach will support VIVID’s ambitious development programme and provide flexibility on when to lock in long-term rates.
Following the addition of VIVID to the bLEND portfolio, Moody’s also reaffirmed bLEND’s A2 negative rating. bLEND continues to maintain its rating amid a backdrop of wider sector downgrades by the rating agencies, benefitting from the management practices of THFC which support the strength and stability of the pool.
THFC’s relationship with VIVID dates back to 1991, when the aggregator lent to the housing associations that merged in 2017 to form VIVID.
Based in Hampshire, VIVID is a leading provider of affordable homes and support services in the South of England. The landlord serves approximately 72,000 customers and operates in 23 local authorities, managing approximately 33,000 homes. VIVID have strong ambitions to contribute to the affordable housing supply, with a target to build 17,000 new homes between 2017 and 2027.
VIVID is an adopter of the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing (SRS) and will be incorporated into bLEND’s SRS report in the 2023 reporting season.
Gavin Richards, Relationship Manager at bLEND who worked with VIVID to establish the loan, said: “It has been great working with the team at VIVID to develop a flexible approach to their liquidity and funding requirements and strengthening our support of one of the strongest and most ambitious housing associations.”
Arun Poobalasingam, Head of Relationship Management and Product Development at THFC, said: “We are delighted to agree this loan facility with VIVID. We believe that the flexibility we can offer associations makes THFC attractive in the current economic environment, where borrowers need to move quickly to take advantage of potential long-term funding opportunities.”
Duncan Brown, Chief Financial Officer at VIVID, said: “In an unpredictable market we’re keen to have a range of options for accessing liquidity when we need it. The flexibility this new facility offers is a great addition to our portfolio. We enjoy working with the team at THFC and are really pleased with this new product.”
Notes to Editors
About THFC: The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC) is the UK’s leading affordable housing aggregator, with over £8bn of lending to around 160 housing associations in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. THFC was set up in 1987 in partnership with the National Housing Federation and what was the Housing Corporation. It now also operates through its subsidiary company, bLEND, which was established in 2018. As a not-for-profit, the group’s surpluses are retained and reinvested to ensure THFC can continue to provide competitively priced funding for HAs long into the future. THFC’s track record of innovation includes some of the earliest green finance products for retrofit and sustainable developments.
About VIVID: Our vision is “more homes, bright futures.” We’re doing all we can to help people through the cost-of-living crisis. We invest in communities and address the shortage of affordable housing in the south, building the right type of homes to meet society’s needs. We’re the fourth largest developer of new homes amongst housing associations in England, having built over 1,400 last year and our target is to have built 17,000 more new homes in the 10 years since our creation in 2017.
For further information contact:
Arun Poobalasingam, Head of Relationship Management and Product Development – firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle Hughes, ESG Strategy and Communications Manager – Danielle.Hughes@thfcorp.com