Delivering real impact in affordable Scottish housing

Allia’s Scottish charitable bond programme has been supporting the vital development of affordable homes across Scotland for the last four years. 

If you’ve not heard of our bond programme, how it works is quite straightforward. Scottish housing associations can access loan funding to help with affordable housing development, through investment by Scottish Government. The interest on the loans is used to create a grant fund, so that funds can be donated to support social housing development – keeping the money within the sector.  

To date, the Scottish Government has invested £70 million in Allia Scottish charitable bonds, resulting in 14 loans for 10 housing associations, and almost £20 million has been donated as grants. 

We’re really proud that the loans have enabled housing associations across Scotland to create an estimated 900 affordable homes, helping them move towards the Scottish Government target of building 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.  

Many of the projects funded by Allia’s bond programme are already completed, in use and delivering real social impact in their communities, and some are still in development.  Here are some of the highlights: 

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership has borrowed two loans, in 2016 and 2018, of £5 million each. While this year’s funding is still in development, the previous loan has been used to part-fund two schemes in Dumfries to provide 16 flats and a terrace of three town houses, which has been built to gold energy efficiency and accessibility standards. Overall, the loans will fund approximately 150 new homes. 

Hillcrest Housing Association received a loan of £7 million, which is being used for a substantial regeneration project in Dundee in partnership with Dundee City Council. The project will build upon a brownfield site which used to have high-rise properties.  

“Allia were great throughout the process to get the deal done. They were always very quick to respond to move the deal forward and were a pleasure to work with.” 

Kingdom Housing Association has received over £15 million across three bonds in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This funding continues to support the delivery of up to 293 affordable homes across East Central Scotland, with the completed projects receiving excellent feedback from tenants.  

“The 10-year funding is unsecured and the most attractive aspect is that the process for acquiring plus on-going management and monitoring of the borrowing is both simple, effective and efficient.” 

Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association received a loan of £1 million, which was used for the completion of a project in Portree and developments in Kyle and Broadford, which will consist of 24 properties for affordable rent, including flats, bungalows and houses.  

“We were pleased to take part in the Allia Bond programme and found the loan application and approval process extremely efficient. It has been without doubt the most straightforward funding route we have used and the staff at Allia were a delight to work with at all stages of the process.” 

Eildon Housing Association received over £1 million to help fund two developments in Kelso which opened earlier this year. The new development received a Commendation at the Scottish Home Awards and marked another successful phase of Eildon’s development programme.  

These financial arrangements have assisted us to deliver this award-winning new scheme in Kelso, provide 18 fantastic new homes. The partnership with the Scottish Government and Allia will also enable further new developments across Borders communities over the next few years.” 

Ayrshire Housing received a loan of £1.6 million in 2016 enabling them to build 22 new affordable and energy-efficient homes for their community. 

“Allia’s approach boosts confidence since the facility is guaranteed from the inception of a potential project. This translates into bricks, mortar and jobs.”  

Orkney Housing Association’s £2m loan in 2016 has meant they have been able to build 30 new, high-quality and affordable properties for tenants and sharing owners. It also provides continuing work for local contractors – so supporting the local island economy.  

“The Allia staff are both helpful and efficient, and the legal process was painless.”  

Lochaber Housing Association was set up in 1988 as a response to the chronic housing need in Lochaber’s rural communities. With a £2m loan in 2016, they have built 62 affordable homes, bringing significant benefits to the area. 

 “As well as offering a competitive rate, streamlined process and one main covenant; we were offered a facility which means we can return to Allia at a future date and the groundwork has already been done.”  

Hjaltland Housing Association provide high-quality housing for tenants throughout Shetland. The loan of £1.3m in 2017 has helped them on their way to reaching their new home target, by enabling them to build 31 new homes in Tingwall, Scalloway and Lerwick. 

“The funding was very straight forward to put in place and minimised the upfront arrangement costs. This included a significant saving on legal fees due to the limited security requirements of the loan.”  

Some fantastic achievements, and we’ll continue to support Scottish housing associations in reaching their goals and delivering social benefit. 

For more information about Allia’s Scottish charitable bond programme for affordable housing, please email impactfinance@allia.org.uk, call 0845 456 2431 or visit allia.org.uk/scotland 

Photo credit:  Ayrshire ® – Tom Manley

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