Ara Venn, the investment manager selected to run the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme (AHGS), has appointed former housing minister Mark Prisk and experienced social housing finance professional Sarah Wall as non-executive directors.
Mr Prisk and Ms Wall will sit on the board of Saltaire Housing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ara Venn, which will be responsible for providing £3bn in cost-effective, long-term loans of up to 30 years to registered providers in England through the AHGS.
The AGHS was revived in the 2019 spring Budget after closing down in 2015 and will offer a guaranteed source of debt to fund sub-market rented housing. Ara Venn, owned by Singapore-based asset manager ARA, was picked to run the scheme ahead of UK-based organisations such as The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC), MORhomes and GB Social Housing.
Mr Prisk, who was housing minister in David Cameron’s government from 2012 to 2013, will serve as chairperson and non-executive director, having served as an MP until the December 2019 election.
Ms Wall, who will serve as a non-executive director, has more than 20 years of experience as a senior funder to social housing. She previously served as a non-executive director at the Regulator of Social Housing and rated social housing bonds at Fitch Ratings.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Wall said: “Having run some of the largest funders of social housing, I am committed to contributing to the development of more affordable homes for our essential workers. Now, more than ever, we owe those fighting on the frontline of COVID-19 truly affordable, high-quality and comfortable homes. I am very pleased to support the scheme.”
Sitting on the board of Saltaire, the concessionaire for the AHGS, the two will oversee the financing of social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership housing in England. The AHGS is expected to fund 17,000 new affordable homes.
Mr Prisk said: “In my previous role as the housing minister, I helped to establish the first affordable housing guarantee scheme because I believe it is a great way to provide cost-effective loans to build more affordable homes for people. I look forward to continue playing my part to support the sustainable development of the UK’s housing sector.”
Richard Green, partner and portfolio manager of the scheme at ARA Venn, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark and Sarah to the board of Saltaire Housing. With their extensive and complementary experience in the social housing industry, we are confident that we will be able to successfully support the delivery of the scheme.”