Council signs latest loan deal to boost housing and drive growth

Published Tuesday, 18th March 2014

WARRINGTON Borough Council is to provide a £20 million loan facility to housing providers Plus Dane Group to develop and build affordable homes within Warrington.

This is the latest in a series of loan agreements entered into by the council with a view to tackling the housing shortage and helping drive the regeneration of Warrington’s economy (1).

The council’s executive board member for finance, Cllr Russ Bowden, said today: “This deal gives the council the opportunity to stimulate housing growth, to help deal with the shortage of housing. But it will also help economic regeneration in the borough. Evidence shows that house building is crucial for economic growth. Housing has a direct impact on economic output, averaging 3 per cent of GDP in the last decade. For every new home built, up to two new jobs are created for a year.”

Cllr Bowden continued:

"The council will earn an arrangement fee as well as interest revenue.  It will also generate additional income for the council in the form of the New Homes Bonus.  This extra income can be invested into vital council services, which is really important in this time of austerity."

The Liverpool-based Plus Dane Group provides affordable homes for rent and shared ownership throughout Cheshire and Merseyside, and manages some 18,000 properties, 309 of them in Warrington. The group, which has net assets of £555 million and an annual turnover of £74 million, also provides support for vulnerable and elderly tenants and is involved in regeneration projects within the neighbourhoods it serves.

Claire Griffiths, Plus Dane’s managing director of regeneration and commercial development, commented:

“Plus Dane Group is delighted to be working in partnership with Warrington Borough Council to improve the provision of high quality, affordable homes in the area. This funding will help Plus Dane deliver nearly 100 high quality new homes in Warrington over the next two years as part of a wider five-year plan that will support local regeneration and create new opportunities for local residents.”

The decision announced today was made by Warrington Borough Council’s executive board on 10 March 2014.

 

Note

1. Previous comparable agreements have been as follows:

·         Your Housing – facility £10m.

·         Warrington Housing Association.

·         Golden Gates Housing – £1.8m.

·         Muir – £30m.

·         Helena Partnerships – £90m (subject to contract).