Investment in Scottish social landlords remains strong

by Gary Whittaker

Lenders have been found to be continuing with investment into the social housing sector in Scotland. Registered social landlords (RSLs) in the country are still able to access good levels of finance, benefiting the sector, according to the Scottish Housing Regulator.

A new report from the regulator looked at borrowing and funding arrangements that RSLs had secured as of March 31st 2016. Analysis discovered that there was around £707 million worth of undrawn facilities available to RSLs in Scotland. 

There was also an increase in the value of available loan facilities of 3.9 per cent compared to the previous year, taking these up to £4.8 billion. New finance of £275 million was also agreed for RSLs, most of which came from banks.

Assistant director of regulation (finance and risk), Shaun Keenan, said: “We know how important it is for tenants and future tenants that RSLs continue to have access to funds at affordable rates. Our report shows that lenders are continuing to invest in social housing and RSLs have access to sufficient private finance to meet their business requirements."

He went on to say that regulation means that lenders have greater confidence in the sector and so are more willing to invest in it. While the Scottish Housing Regulator will work constructively with those already lending and potential future lenders to ensure this continues, it is up to each individual RSL to ensure they can access funding that is required for its operations and expenditure.

Mr Keenan continued to say that "All RSLs need to ensure that they are complying with their loan agreements and monitoring the associated covenants and that the governing body has sufficient oversight to ensure compliance with regulatory standards."

If current financing situations continue for RSLs in Scotland, the sector could see further improvements in the future.

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31-March-17General Lettings News