LAR Housing Trust, in its second year since launch in October 2015, has managed to secure a multimillion pound deal that will give a significant boost to its mid market rental portfolio across Scotland.
This game changing funding of £65 million was arranged by Bank of Scotland Commercial Real Estate in partnership with Scottish Widows. It will enable LAR to fulfil its commitment to deliver approximately 1,000 high quality, affordable homes across the country in the next five years to those who don’t qualify for social housing but at the same time can’t afford to pay full rent in the Private Rented Sector.
Major milestone for LAR
Andrew Robertson, Chairman at LAR Housing Trust, said: “We launched 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.”
He added: “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.”
LAR initially focussed on delivering quality and affordable housing in Aberdeen and Lothian. However, the Dunfermline based housing charity has developments in other parts of Scotland and new proposals are under consideration.
Ahead of the target
LAR’s current mid market portfolio consists of 204 homes at nine sites across the country:
- Park Road, Aberdeen (28 flats built by Barratt Homes)
- Shaw Road, Aberdeen (15 apartments by Cala)
- Kingswell, Aberdeen (16 houses by Stewart Milne Homes)
- Riverside Quarter, Mugiemoss, Aberdeen (25 houses by Stewart Milne Homes)
- Cove, Aberdeen (44 flats and houses by Stewart Milne Homes)
- The Gardens at Crathes, Hollybush Lane, Banchory (5 terraced houses)
- Belvidere Village, London Road, Glasgow (40 flats by Kier Homes)
- Macmerry, East Lothian (19 houses by Springfield Properties)
- Pinkie Mains, Musselburgh, East Lothian (12 flats by Taylor Wimpey)
Developers seem to be keen to engage with LAR and the organisation hopes this will continue.
Addressing the housing shortage
Commenting on the new private finance deal, housing minister Kevin Stewart, said: “I’m pleased that Scottish Government’s initial £55m loan to LAR Housing Trust has enabled this new investment to be secured. The combined public/private investment of £120m represents a significant economic stimulus that will support new affordable housing across Scotland.”
He continued: “Working innovatively with partners like LAR is another example of how our ‘More Homes Scotland’ initiative is working towards its target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes as well as increasing the supply of housing options across all tenures with the aim of ensuring everyone in Scotland has access to affordable, good quality homes.”
Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows are both proud to support LAR’s development programme with their funding and expertise.