Landmark £30m deal boosts Southside Housing Association’s ambitious housing plans

Southside Housing Association (SHA) has struck a £30 million deal with Handelsbanken plc to help finance new build properties and a comprehensive programme of housing improvements.

The Glasgow landlord will use the loan facility from the Swedish bank to support the finance of upgrades to existing properties and the building of more than 260 new homes, ranging in size from one to five bedrooms, in the Pollokshields and Cardonald areas of the city.

Landmark £30m deal boosts Southside Housing Association’s ambitious housing plans

(from left) Mandy Wright, head of finance at SHA; Margaret McIntyre, chairperson at SHA; Michael McCuaig, corporate banking manager, Handelsbanken; Betty Macneill, vice chairperson at SHA

The £30m five-year facility is in the form of a revolving credit facility, and allows SHA to draw on funds when needed, converting the borrowing into longer term loans.

This is the first time Handelsbanken has entered the social housing market in Scotland.

SHA, which operates across the Glasgow’s south side, has hailed the deal as ground breaking.

Mandy Wright, head of finance at Southside Housing Association, said: “The securing of this loan was very much a collaborative approach between ourselves and the Bank and I look forward to this continuing. The nature of the loan facility provides a lot of flexibility and lets us access the funding as and when it best fits our major spend profile over the next three to five years.”

Margaret McIntyre, chairperson at Southside Housing Association, said: “We are very proud to have secured this loan facility with Handelsbanken. It will allow us to continue to invest record levels in our tenants’ homes, particularly for new heating, and will also support our programme of new homes for people who desperately need affordable accommodation. 

“On behalf of everyone on the Management Committee I want to record my thanks to all our advisers for putting together this great deal for SHA’s tenants, and we look forward to working  with Handelsbanken for many years to come.”

Michael McCuaig, corporate banking manager at Handelsbanken, said: “Southside Housing Association has a first class reputation within social housing and we are very proud of this partnership, and supportive of the Association’s five year plan.

“At Handelsbanken we have a unique business model concentrating on our local market. Each branch operates as a local business, enabling it to make decisions locally and provide a bespoke service to our clients.

“Working closely with Southside Housing Association provides us with a fantastic opportunity to invest in Glasgow, boosting the local economy and delivering much-needed affordable housing to the south side of Glasgow.”

As well as the building of new properties Southside Housing Association will use the funding to renovate almost 700 homes across Pollokshields and Cardonald. 

Many will have existing inefficient and expensive electric storage heating systems completely overhauled and replaced with modern air source heat pump systems, providing an affordable and flexible whole-home heating solution.

Gillian Houston of Arneil Johnston worked closely with Philip Porter of Ark Consulting on the financial consulting during the deal. Lauren Little of TC Young Solicitors delivered legal advice on behalf of SHA with John Waller and Susan McDonald from Addleshaw Goddard on behalf of Handelsbanken plc.

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