North West housing association ForHousing, has secured £60m long-term funding through an optimal or ‘rolling’ charging strategy, with support from national law firm Bevan Brittan. ForHousing will use the funding to invest in existing and new affordable homes.
ForHousing, which owns and manages 24,000 homes, has completed the first £30 million draw down of the new £60 million facility with bond aggregator bLEND plc. The second tier of funding will be drawn in April 2024.
A team from Bevan Brittan led by Partner Jessica Church worked with ForHousing on the implementation of the rolling charging strategy in advance of the transaction.
“The focus of the strategy was on optimising chargeability and valuation and minimising transactional risks. We are seeing an increasing number of our housing association clients adopt optimal charging programmes as part of an effective treasury security risk mitigation strategy, to maximise borrowing capacity when housing associations are facing escalating costs and also take advantage of new funding opportunities predicated on quick access to markets,” said Jessica Church. “The initial project involved carrying out extensive due diligence in relation to a significant portfolio of 5,000 properties comprising a mixture of ex-LSVT and new build dwellings.”
The team at Bevan Brittan carried out an initial ‘red-amber-green’ traffic light analysis to identify viable schemes for charge at maximum valuation and established a programme of perfecting security to maximise valuation on charge at transactional stage.
Jessica Church added: “We are absolutely delighted to have supported ForHousing on this important funding project to provide long-term liquidity for their business plan, enabling them to deliver their strategic priorities. Taking a forward thinking approach to security preparation has enabled ForHousing to have visibility on security and valuation issues ahead of live transaction stage and to secure a clean portfolio of security to support not only the first drawdown from bLEND but also future funding transactions.”
Bevan Brittan’s specialist housing team has an in-depth understanding of the sector. The firm also has expertise in key related fields such as health and social care and energy.