Housing association raises £45 million to fund ambitious homes plans for Peterborough

Peterborough housing association Cross Keys Homes has successfully raised £45 million to fund its ambitious homes building programme.

Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 5:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 6:17 pm
Cross Keys Homes' chief executive Claire Higgins.

The association, in Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston, has sold £45 million of bonds that were retained from a £150 million issue that was approved two years ago.

A spokeswoman said: “Two years ago we were given approval for a £150 million bonds issue but we only sold £105 million as we didn’t need all the money at that time and we retained bonds worth £45 million.”

The cash will help fund the construction of 880 homes that Cross Keys has already committed itself to build. Since 2014, it has built more than 300 homes.

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However, following last year’s budget that demanded housing associations cut rents by one per cent a year for the next four years, the association has trimmed its previously stated goal of building 500 homes a year from 2018, to nearer 400.

That has prompted the global credit agency, Standard and Poor’s, to revise its verdict on the association, which owns about 10,000 homes across the city.

Reaffirming its AA- rating for the association, S&P states: “We now view positively Cross Keys’ recent strategy review in favour of a less aggressive capital program and we also anticipate stronger financial performance by fiscal year-end 2019.

“We are therefore revising our outlook on Cross Keys Homes to stable from negative and affirming our ‘AA-’ rating.”

Claire Higgins, chief executive of Cross Keys Homes, said: “The securing of our bond is proof that we have made the right decisions and we are now in a very strong position to continue to deliver on our ambitions.

“We are still building more homes than ever before, and I am confident we can keep doing this and more whilst still delivering the excellent services our tenants and stakeholders expect.

She added: “It really is positive news that S&P have improved their view of our financial position.

“It is testament to the hard work of my team in driving efficiencies across the company.

“It was a difficult decision to cut back slightly on our development programme at a time when there is a huge housing crisis facing the country.

“We are still building more homes than ever before in order to meet the needs of local people, and will continue to do so.”