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Funding deal first for 1,000 homes

Cartrefi Conwy says it has become the first social landlord in Wales to tap into sustainability-linked funding for new homes.

Chief executive Andrew Bowden claims the new finance package is a ‘gamechanger’ that will enable the organisation to reach new heights and help kick start the North Wales economy back into life after Covid.

In total, the association has secured an extra £39 million in funding to build 1,000 new homes. Around £22 million of the total is from Lloyds Bank including sustainability-linked funding which includes an interest rate reduction scheme to reward the provision of affordable, zero carbon homes and tackling homelessness. It said that information about the interest rate was commercially confidential.

Mr Bowden said:

‘This is private money coming in which is supplemented by Welsh Government money and, if the social housing grant levels are maintained at current levels, it means that £39 million effectively becomes nearly £100 million of additional money available.

‘This is the fantastic thing about having housing associations in that we can really make Welsh Government public sector funding go as far as it can in building new affordable social homes in North Wales. “When you factor in the economic multipliers, it all adds up to a massive £186 million  boost for North Wales economy and will create 4,500 jobs over the 10-year period.’

Earlier this year Cartrefi Conwy’s subsidiary Creating Enterprise signed a five-year contract with Beattie Passive giving it exclusive rights to its Passivhaus build system in North Wales.

As well as maintaining Cartrefi’s 4,000 properties, Creating Enterprise helps local people, including tenants, to find employment, training and volunteering opportunities. Its commercial profits are reinvested into its Creating Futures academy.

Andrew Bowden and Peter Lewis on the Ysgol Maelgwn site, Llandudno Junction.         

Mr Bowden added:

‘The new finance package allows us to bring our strategy to life is absolutely fantastic news for Cartrefi Conwy.

‘We are also committed to working closely with Conwy County Borough Council to help tackle homelessness. We are also working with our local authority and health partners across North Wales.’

Peter Lewis, group director of resources, who worked with treasury advisor Centrus to put together the new deals, said: ‘For me this is all about delivering more social homes and tackling the climate crisis.’

Christopher Yau, origination and sustainability director at Lloyds Bank, said:

‘This deal will enable Cartrefi Conwy to play a part in the wider economic recovery, creating jobs, building sustainable homes and helping improve the lives of its residents in North Wales.

‘By structuring this funding package in-line with the latest standards for sustainability in social housing, it will also help the region’s homes to become greener and cheaper to live in.’

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