Retail Charity Bond raises £31.5 million for Hightown Housing Association

The sixth Retail Charity Bond – and third to be issued this year – takes total raised to date by Allia’s platform to £147.5 million

The latest Retail Charity Bond for Hightown Housing Association was issued today having raised £31.5 million.

The bond offer was launched on 10 October and closed early on 16 October after strong demand from investors. The bonds will pay a fixed rate of interest of 4% a year and will mature in 2027. Hightown will borrow £31.5m initially when the bonds are issued on 31 October, but a further £6.5m of ‘retained bonds’ will be created which can be sold and the extra money loaned to Hightown at a later date.

This Bond is the sixth to be issued through Allia’s Retail Charity Bonds platform, taking the total raised to date to £147.5 million. It is also the second bond to be issued for Hightown who were among the first users of the platform, raising £27m through a Retail Charity Bond in 2015.

The funds will be used to support Hightown’s development programme. The Herts-based housing association expects to build over 1,000 homes in the next two years, 75% of which will be for social, affordable or intermediate rent.

David Bogle, Chief Executive of Hightown, said:
We embarked on this funding route as it presents an opportunity for ethically-minded investors to contribute to the delivery of much-needed affordable homes. Once again, the early closure of the Retail Charity Bond underlines the value of building the affordable homes that our region so desperately needs.”

Phil Caroe, Director of Social Finance at Allia, said:
This latest successful Retail Charity Bond issue confirms both the market’s confidence in Hightown and its appetite for investments offering a positive social impact. With three successful Retail Charity Bond issues this year totalling nearly £90m, the retail bond market continues to offer an attractive source of unsecured loan finance for housing associations and other charitable borrowers.”

Henrietta Podd of the JCRA – Peel Hunt Debt Capital Markets team said:
The Retail Charity Bonds platform was set up to simplify access to the capital markets for strong charities like Hightown. Their second 10 year unsecured bond, with a lower coupon and including a retained bond facility for future funding, demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of the platform.”

Notes to Editors

About Retail Charity Bonds and Allia
Retail Charity Bonds is a platform that issues retail eligible bonds for UK charities. It was created by Allia, a social investment specialist that has been creating bonds for social benefit since its launch in 1999.

The Issuer, Retail Charity Bonds PLC, is a public limited company; it was established as a special purpose issuing vehicle but is not itself a charity. It is governed by an independent and experienced board of directors from the financial and charity sectors who are acting on a pro-bono basis. The administration of the Issuer and the origination of charitable borrowers is carried out by Allia Impact Finance Ltd, a subsidiary of Allia Ltd.

Other charities to have successfully raised finance through Retail Charity Bonds include Golden Lane Housing (the housing arm of Mencap), Charities Aid Foundation, Greensleeves Homes Trust and The Dolphin Square Charitable Foundation.

For more information go to impactfinance.allia.org.uk and www.retailcharitybonds.co.uk
@AlliaIF

Press enquiries to:
Claire Thwaites, Head of Marketing Communications, Allia Ltd
claire.thwaites@allia.org.uk 01223 781305

Laura Nicholls, Marketing Campaigns Manager, Allia Impact Finance
laura.nicholls@allia.org.uk 01223 781322