The first private trust for investing in affordable housing is to be launched later this month.

The Affordable Property Trust (APT), which has been set up by Andy Leahy, a former development director at property group Ballymore, is buying 650 homes valued at £44m from west London’s A2 Housing Group.

The properties consist of a mix of key worker homes and rented properties acquired by A2 on the open market.

Leahy said that the trust, which aims to build up £200m of properties, is negotiating with another three associations.

APT will offer investors an initial return of 4.5%, which may increase to 11% in the longer term.

Leahy said that a mix of pension funds and finance houses had invested in the trust so far.