Private company will raise money from investors for affordable homes

A new private company has launched an innovative finance model that is set to attract £250m of institutional investment into new affordable homes.

Quality Social Housing (QSH) said it expected to raise the money from investors, largely private equity and real estate companies, over the next six weeks as part of the roll out of a new model for financing affordable homes.

Under the plan, QSH buys new homes from housebuilder Bovis Homes and rents them out to tenants at up to 80% of the market rate. Half the rent goes towards ownership of the home, with the remainder as return to the investors.

The initial deals with Kirklees and Cornwall councils, worth £2.5m, will see the councils’ arms length management organisations (Almos) managing the properties on behalf of QSH.

The firm is also in discussions with homebuilders and housing associations across the UK and has agreement in principle from more than 20 housing associations, local authorities and Almos with the aim of having 2,000 homes signed up by the end of the year.

Paul Hardisty, QSH chief executive, said the aim was to match that number of homes, year on year.

“Once the principle is shown to work we can keep replicating it,” he said.

He said the model would provide strong and robust returns to institutional investors while building “sustainable communities of residential developments”.

“It’s an opportunity for City institutions to invest in UK infrastructure projects to help foster economic growth while obtaining acceptable returns on their investment, as well as increasing the stock of affordable homes - everyone wins,” he added.

Richard Holland, associate director of partnership housing at Bovis Homes, said: “As a major national housebuilder we have had to be innovative in our thinking to provide solutions for homebuyers and we applaud QSH for their creative and proactive approach.”