Peterborough’s Cross Keys Homes plans to raise £50 million

Plans are being drawn up by a Peterborough housing 
association to raise £50 million to help fund its house building ambitions.

By Paul Grinnell
Thursday, 17th June 2021, 5:00 am
Claire Higgins, chief executive of Cross Keys Homes.
Claire Higgins, chief executive of Cross Keys Homes.

Cross Keys Homes based in Shrewsbury Avenue, in Woodston, and which employs 400 staff, is looking to announce its latest find raising venture in the autumn.

Its chief executive, Claire Higgins, who was named as an MBE winner in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List released last week, said: “We will raise the money partly with a refinancing of our £250 million bond and through the NatWest.”

The association has set itself the target of building 500 homes a year.

Mrs Higgins said: “The new money will enable us to meet our homes building target but also to invest in the maintenance of our existing properties and to improve our services.”

She said the Covid-19 pandemic had prompted the association to reshape the way its services are carried out.

She said: “At the start of the pandemic our staff contacted every tenant to make sure they were okay.

“We discovered that some people were suffering real hardships that we would not otherwise have known about.

“We set up a Be Kind Fund to respond to tenants’ needs.”

Details of the new fund-raising plans come just weeks after Cross Keys announced it had secured £50 million from the NatWest in one of the first SONIA (Sterling Overnight Index Average) risk-free loans to be secured in the housing association sector. And seven years ago, a £250 million bond was issued by Cambridgeshire Housing Capital, the agency’s funding body.