A greener future secured for North Wales’ social houses

A portfolio of 4,000 homes will become greener and an additional 1,000 new houses are set to be built in North Wales after Cartrefi Conwy secured a £22m funding packaging from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The housing association secured the funding – Lloyds Bank’s first sustainability-linked loan (SLL) in the social housing sector – as it invests in improving the energy efficiency and decarbonisation of its existing stock alongside building new affordable and energy efficient homes by 2030.

The £22m revolving credit facility provides the North Wales-based organisation with the flexibility to deliver on its sustainability targets while expanding its presence across the region. The SLL provides Cartrefi Conwy with a set of environmental and social KPIs to meet to secure margin discounts on its financing. The financing will be used alongside the association’s existing funding facilities.

Lloyds Bank structured the covenants of the loan using the Sustainability Reporting Standard in Social Housing, which was recently launched by the ESG Social Housing Working Group. It is one of the earliest adopters of the standard, alongside Scottish Widows, which sets a voluntary reporting framework covering 48 criteria to support housing providers in their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ambitions.

The funding will enable Cartrefi Conwy to deliver the low energy, carbon zero homes across North Wales to the Passivehaus advanced low energy construction standards. It will work alongside other housing associations and local authorities to deliver 350 homes over the next five years using timber frames and offsite technology via Cartrefi Conwy’s revolutionary modular housing factory.

Cartrefi Conwy was formed in 2008 after the transfer of 3,800 homes from Conwy County Borough Council into a new organisation. It aims to increase the availability of social housing in North Wales by building new properties, taking ownership of empty dwellings and working in partnership with other providers in public and private sectors.

Andrew Bowden, chief executive of Cartrefi Conwy, said:

“It’s hard to look past the housing shortage and sustainability as two of the most urgent issues facing the UK.

“By providing us with the funding to develop 1,000 affordable and energy efficient homes over the next decade, we can deliver on our ambition to tackle the shortage of quality, affordable housing for people in North Wales.

“We recognise how important it is to support the communities living in our existing properties. This funding will also be used to improve their houses and make them more sustainable, future proofing them for years to come.

“We’re grateful for the support of Lloyds Bank to ensure we can achieve our goals sustainably, while supporting our communities across North Wales.”

Christopher Yau, origination and sustainability director at Lloyds Bank, said:

“This deal will enable the Cartrefi Conwy to play a part in the wider economic recovery, creating jobs, building sustainable homes and helping improve the lives of its residents in North Wales.

“By structuring this funding package in-line with the latest standards for sustainability in social housing, it will also help the region’s homes to become greener and cheaper to live in”