Lloyds subsidiaries back housing charity

LAR Housing Trust has secured a £65 million (€71 million) loan to boost its portfolio of mid-market rental properties across Scotland.

LAR Housing Trust has secured a £65 million (€71 million) loan to boost its portfolio of mid-market rental properties across Scotland.

The deal was arranged by Bank of Scotland Commercial Real Estate, part of Lloyds Banking Group, through its partnership with its group insurer Scottish Widows. LAR, which is based in Dunfermline, aims to supply around 1,000 new homes in the Scottish market over the next five years.

“We launched [in 2015] with a £55m loan from the Scottish government with the intention of then securing long-term private sector investment. This deal with Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows is a significant step forward for us and allows us to continue with an ambitious development programme,” said Andrew Robertson, LAR’s chairman.

“We have made great strides within the first two years of our launch and this deal represents a major investment in the Scottish housing market,” Robertson added.

LAR’s project, which includes a portfolio of 200 homes across nine different sites, along with further projects under construction, is part of the Scottish government’s ‘More Homes Scotland’ initiative, with a target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes across the country.

The funding package is the latest in a series of deals arranged by Bank of Scotland in the affordable housing market in Scotland.

Last week, it emerged that Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland provided a £65 million loan to Wheatley Group for its scheme of 3,500 new affordable homes across Scotland.

In May, the scheme secured £100 million of private finance from BlackRock. The move was part of a drive from private debt funds to finance UK social housing, as demand continues to increase and many housing associations shied away from the public markets last year.

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