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HCA's funding bonanza keeps the 'affordable' homes a-coming

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HCA's funding bonanza keeps the 'affordable' homes a-coming

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development, Finance, Local Government

HCA's funding bonanza keeps the 'affordable' homes a-coming HCA's funding bonanza keeps the 'affordable' homes a-coming

Image: Money Arrow via Shutterstock

The development of yet more 'affordable' homes has been announced in the wake of the Homes and Communities Agency's big cash funding bonanza.

The Longhurst Group, a provider of housing, care and support services, was awarded £17.8 million in this week's HCA allocations - money it will use to build 890 new homes.

On top of the windfall, the group has secured a further £25m in funding in the form of a reserve bond negotiated as part of a £250m debut bond it issued in July 2012.

In the two years since the issue Longhurst has expanded its development programme, building more than a home a day during 2013/14. The group has plans to deliver an additional 2,500 homes over the next five years.

The allocation, which Longhurst bid for on behalf of the Blue Skies Consortium, was the HCA's 15th largest nationally.

Bob Walder, Longhurt's chief executive, said: "Despite the economic turbulence of recent years we’ve stayed true to our promise that we’ll continue to deliver quality new homes for the families who need them most.

"In the midst of a national housing crisis, this funding will make a significant difference to the lives of people who will finally be able to find an affordable, safe, warm home."

Longhurst's financial results for 2013/14 show that turnover increased to £97.5m in the year, with the underlying operating surplus improving by £6.9m to £29.6m. The group’s net surplus for was £7.7m.

Rob Griffiths, Longhurst's chief financial officer, said: “The business thrived during 2013/14 demonstrating a strong performance in both social housing lettings and shared ownership sales. We impressed investors with the strength of our financial performance and this was ultimately reflected in the price agreed for the funding.”

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