Stonewater looks to enhance sustainability with £200m funding package
Stonewater, one of the UK’s largest housing associations, has secured £200m funding from Lloyds Bank to support its significant ongoing development programme.
The organisation, which owns and manages around 36,000 homes for more than 78,000 customers, predominantly across central and the south of England, has refinanced its existing £125m facility and increased it by £75m.
Stonewater has also transitioned the facility to a sustainability-linked loan which will see it measured against three KPIs to receive covenants on its funding.
The first KPI relates to retrofitting its existing stock to ensure it is going above and beyond the current minimum regulations so that all of its properties are at least EPC C earlier than 2030.
Secondly, the association will look to increase the energy efficiency standard of its new homes to beyond minimum planning regulations, with a high percentage of homes reaching SAP 86 and above.
Finally, Stonewater is currently rated as “Gold” via the independent SHIFT sustainability framework – an amalgamation of 15 separate ESG KPIs into one overarching score. Stonewater is looking to enhance its SHIFT score year-on-year with an ultimate ambition of achieving SHIFT “Platinum”– an accolade that no other social housing provider currently holds.
Anne Costain, Chief Financial Officer at Stonewater, said: “This is an important agreement for Stonewater as it continues the progress we are making towards more affordable, lower-carbon homes for our customers. It is also a clear demonstration of the financial strength of our organisation, which allows us to focus on existing customers, while delivering much-needed affordable homes for others in society.”
Ray Tierney, Relationship Director & Regional Head of Housing at Lloyds Bank, said: “Tackling climate change and meeting demand for quality housing are issues that will define the next decade. Stonewater is already taking the lead in meeting its responsibilities and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to be ambitious in being sustainable and helping communities across the UK.”