UK Social Housing Initiative Grows

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), long a favored model for property investment in the U.S., may be becoming a favored avenue of investment in social housing in the …

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), long a favored model for property investment in the U.S., may be becoming a favored avenue of investment in social housing in the United Kingdom (UK). Finance ministers have announced a new initiative that will encourage more investment in social housing through REITs in the country, which is expected to boost investment as well as provide much-needed options for British citizens in an increasingly challenging affordable-home market. The move comes on the heels of the successful Affordable Housing Programme, which recently leveraged financing for £12 billion in new homes. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Moves to encourage more private investment in social housing through Real Estate Investment Trusts have been announced by ministers in the UK.

The current Finance Bill is introducing a series of measures to support entry to and investment in Real Estate Investment Trusts and now Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Economic Secretary Chloe Smith have published a consultation seeking views on how to encourage more private investment.

This consultation will build on these measures considering potential further changes to Real Estate Investment Trusts to support the establishment of more of these in the social housing sector, they said.

The consultation follows the successful Affordable Homes Programme, which levered in private funding from providers of almost £10 billion, and which is set to exceed expectations and deliver 170,000 homes, some 20,000 more than originally thought.

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‘I am determined that we do all we can to get Britain building, and these reforms will help build more affordable homes, boost investment in housing and increase choice for tenants.

That’s why we’re the consultation to see how we can best break down the barriers that prevents private investment in social housing. With the turnover from housing associations now at over £12 billion this should be seen as a sound and stable investment to those looking for a long term return,’ said Shapps.

Smith said that the UK government is keen to see more affordable homes and encourage innovative ways of investing in the social housing sector. ‘As well as delivering much needed accommodation for families, expanding Real Estate Investment Trusts into social housing could present value for money for the taxpayer. I look forward to hearing views during the consultation,’ she added.

While private investment is vital to help fund the supply of new homes, Ministers also want to see greater innovation and diversity in the management and delivery of affordable housing.

Shapps also announced that three companies, Orchard and Shipman, Shanley, and Pinnacle Spaces, have already signed up to become commercial providers of social housing.

He said that the registration of these organisations will help bring the innovation and investment needed to deliver even more of the affordable homes the country needs.

‘We are working with the Government and its Agencies to overcome barriers posed by current constraints in traditional public financing and delivery routes to provide new private funding and contribute to much needed affordable housing supply,’ said Perry Lloyd, chief executive of the Pinnacle Regeneration Group.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.

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