Housing association merger with East Thames backed by £2.6bn refinancing

L&Q and East Thames housing associations have completed their merger and a £2.6bn refinancing deal to help fuel expansion.

The combined organisation, which will be known as L&Q, owns and manages over 90,000 homes across the UK, worth an estimated £22bn.

It has set itself the target of delivering 100,000 new homes, of which it says half will be “genuinely affordable to people on average and lower incomes”.

Under a new ten-year financial plan it aims to spend £15bn on building new homes, with a particular focus on London and the South-east and the Thames Gateway corridor.

The merged organisation will also create a 6,600 home specialist care and support subsidiary with an annual turnover of £47m to provide housing to older and vulnerable adults.

It will also create a £250m community investment fund and spend £5m per year on a training academy both for staff and residents to develop skills and employment opportunities.

David Montague, L&Q group chief executive, said: “We have built a strong track record over the last 50 years and believe the opportunities ahead for the sector have never been greater.

“The current government talks about increasing housing of all tenures, not just home-ownership, and is focussed on long-term targets that stretch beyond the next election. With long-term planning we can make long-term commitments, and we share the government’s determination and ambition to deliver a step change in housing.”

Yvonne Arrowsmith, East Thames chief executive, said: “This merger will allow us to combine our social purpose and commercial drive to create homes and neighbourhoods we can be proud of and to provide even greater support to some of the most vulnerable members of society.”