European Investment Bank cash to help fund affordable homes
6 July 2018, 05:34
A property firm has secured £185 million of European Investment Bank (EIB) funding to help build and improve affordable housing across Scotland.
The Wheatley Group is taking forward plans to build 7,500 affordable new homes throughout the country by 2025.
The new EIB loan was announced by the bank's vice-president Jonathan Taylor at an event in Glasgow attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and tenants, staff and apprentices from across Wheatley.
The firm said the loan, the largest of its type made in Scotland, is linked to its commitment to invest £400 million over the next three years in affordable housing.
This also includes refurbishing existing homes to meet new Scottish and EU energy-efficiency standards, helping tenants cut energy bills, and housing and integrating refugees into communities.
Wheatley chair Alastair MacNish said: "This loan is fantastic news for people and families across Scotland and is a huge vote of confidence in Wheatley and our unyielding commitment to affordable housing."
Mr Taylor said: "The European Investment Bank supports social housing investment with leading housing associations across Europe and is pleased to back transformational investment here in Scotland by Wheatley, the largest housing association in Scotland and the largest builder of new social housing in the UK."
Ms Sturgeon said: "Ensuring people have access to quality housing is a fundamental part of building a fair and equal society. That is why we have committed to deliver at least 50,000 new affordable homes in the five years to 2021.
"Wheatley Group is vital in helping us achieve that, having delivered almost 1,900 new affordable homes across Scotland over the past three years and the additional funding from the European Investment Bank will help them build on this."