Ara Venn, an investment manager in European real estate private debt, has been selected to run the government’s Affordable Housing Guarantee Scheme (AHGS), taking over from UK-based aggregator The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC).
Ara Venn has been selected to run the government’s £3bn Affordable Housing Guarantee Scheme (picture: Getty)
Housing minister Christopher Pincher today revealed that Ara Venn, owned by Singapore-based asset manager ARA, will run the scheme, which will provide cost-effective long-term loans to registered providers of affordable homes in England.
Ara Venn was the successful bidder from a pool that included social housing debt aggregator The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC), as well as fellow aggregators GB Social Housing and MORhomes. The UK-based THFC managed the previous guarantee programme, the Affordable Homes Guarantee Programme (AHGP), which enabled many housing associations to borrow at rates of less than 3% but was scrapped in 2015.
The new scheme offers a guaranteed source of debt to fund sub-market rented housing. It was introduced in the 2019 Spring Statement and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said it will help finance affordable housing across England, including those for social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership.
Mr Pincher said: “Ensuring everyone has the opportunity to access a secure, affordable home is central to the mission of this government and our £3bn Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme will play a vital part in achieving this.
“ARA Venn’s wealth of investment expertise will prove invaluable to delivering another 17,000 much-needed new affordable homes to families across the country.”
The announcement follows on from the government’s £11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme, launched last month, which will run from 2021 to 2026 with the aim of providing 180,000 new homes “should economic conditions allow”, the MHCLG said.
Richard Green, partner at ARA Venn, said: “We look forward to establishing the scheme as a key partner to support the vision and ambition of the social housing industry.
“The ARA Group has a strong commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance, firmly believing in long-term responsible investment and delivering a positive social impact from this scheme is a reflection of that.”