Supporting greener social housing in London
Energy efficiency investments benefit the economy by cutting energy bills, saving emissions and creating new construction jobs. A UK social housing scheme seeks to do just that by improving the social housing offering with environmentally sustainable buildings in London and the rest of the country.
A EUR 480m (GBP 400m) EIB loan to The Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (THFC) is supporting retrofitting measures and the construction of highly energy-efficient new housing across the UK. Around half of these investments will be located in the London area where the need for new social housing is highest. This not only helps to drive down energy bills, but also significantly reduces atmospheric pollution. In particular the new buildings will comply with the highest environmental standards.
THFC is an independent, specialist organisation that makes loans to regulated housing associations, which provide affordable housing throughout the UK.
Working with the EIB since 1998, THFC has passed on GBP 1.5bn for investment by smaller housing regeneration schemes across the UK. As a not-for-profit organisation THFC uniquely passes on the EIB money at cost and does not charge a margin, which is a substantial advantage to housing associations.
“The construction schemes we are helping to fund with the financial backing of the EIB achieve very high environmental ratings. This can make a big difference to residents of social housing apartments. They will ultimately benefit by cutting-down on their energy bills,” Fenella Edge, THFC Director said.
It is expected that new construction schemes to be funded will achieve level 4 or higher as defined by the national Code for Sustainable Homes, representing a 44% reduction in energy usage over 2006 minimum planning-compliant benchmark standards. In comparison, the highest rating, level 6 is a zero carbon home, whereas the majority of private sector housing schemes are rated level 2 or 3.
Building sustainable neighbourhoods in LondonThis housing scheme is helping to shape sustainable neighbourhoods and some of the London investments are already starting to materialise. The Dockland Settlement scheme, due to be completed in November this year, includes five rental social housing units, four shared ownership social housing units and 18 private housing units. The amount covered by the EIB is around 49% of the total investment cost.
A brand new community centre is also being built together with a caretaker’s house. The scheme is providing support to the local community, bringing new opportunities for young people and allowing other residents to play sports.
The funding from the EIB for this social housing scheme will be complemented by investment from the London Green Fund, which is managed by the Bank, and will target retrofitting schemes in the London area.