SFHA’s Resource for Investment Scheme marks another milestone

SFHA’s Resource for Investment Scheme marks another milestone

A pioneering housing association investment scheme marked another milestone yesterday with the launch of a member led steering group to progress the initiative.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ Housing Association Resource for Investment Scheme (HARIS) provides an innovative way for Scottish housing associations to raise private finance at scale in order to keep small and medium sized associations building new homes for social rent.

Susan Torrance, SFHA policy manager, who has been working on HARIS for the last nine months, said: “We are delighted at the turn out for our inaugural steering group meeting. Twenty five housing associations attended from all over Scotland, representing a wide range of sizes of RSL from different geographical locations.

“All were interested in how HARIS can raise attractive long-term finance through collaborating in pulling together portfolios of newly built homes to put to the market to borrow at scale. There is no shortage of sources of funds at present, but most of our Scottish associations want to borrow £2–3 million rather than £200m at one time and this is, ironically, far more problematic.

“We are now assembling the business case – full financial projections, the documentation required and final decisions on the company structure – with the hope that we can legally launch HARIS in the autumn. The role of the steering group and its executive is crucial – to guide us and ensure we get real information on what works and what doesn’t work for Scottish housing associations.”

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