RSLs benefit from £300m EU fund

31 Jan 02
Housing associations will be able to apply for a share of a £300m renewal fund under a programme announced this week by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Bank of Scotland.

01 February 2002

The banks will fund proposals to improve housing as part of urban regeneration schemes, with emphasis being placed on upgrading homes that have been transferred to new registered social landlords following ballots of council tenants.

The EIB, a European Union financing institution that focuses on capital projects in less-developed parts of the region, is offering £150m. It will be up to Bank of Scotland to put forward projects eligible for loans following discussions with RSLs. The bank, which is part of the HBOS group, has pledged to match the funds on offer from the European institution.

EIB vice-president Peter Sedgwick said his bank would be able to pass on competitive finance to landlords. 'Projects selected will form part of well-structured local regeneration strategies, particularly in the more deprived urban areas,' he added.

Ceri Richards, head of housing finance for Bank of Scotland, said this was the first time a UK bank had sourced EIB loans to fund housing regeneration. 'We are pleased that the facility has been signed in time to offer EIB-linked finance to some of the urban stock transfers scheduled to complete in early 2002,' he said.

Figures published earlier this month showed that private finance raised by RSLs was increasing by more than 15% a year, with £23.2bn having been lent by March 2001.


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