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Circle VHA’s modern finance approach targets accelerated delivery of social housing

Circle Voluntary Housing Association has reached financial close on a new Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) with AIB Corporate Banking. This RCF is the first of its kind in the sector and will facilitate the rapid acquisition of social housing in Ireland.  The facility addresses a well-known issue in the sector in relation to timing, from initial approval to drawdown of long-term funding.

Commenting on the facility, Circle CEO John Hannigan said:

Circle CEO John Hannigan This facility will speed up acquisitions of much needed housing and ensure that it is delivered quickly. We need more innovation in our funding approaches and AIB Corporate Banking has been very supportive of this approach. We still need to do more and over the coming months Circle will be hoping to deliver more innovation in the funding of new social and affordable housing. We look forward to working with AIB on more new ventures.

AIB has been heavily involved in facilitating private finance in the social housing sector. AIB Corporate Banking’s Head of Social Housing, Eoghan O’Neill said: 

We are delighted to be able to help provide funding solutions to allow the acceleration of social housing delivery.  Working with Circle was a very welcome collaboration and we are already seeing the immediate benefits of this collaboration in the delivery of housing for those most in need. As one of the leading suppliers of credit in the social housing sector, and an important stakeholder in the property industry, AIB looks forward to the delivery of this housing commitment.

Centrus acted as sole Financial Advisor to Circle on the development of the facility, from original concept through to first drawdown and beyond. Jason Murphy, Managing Director of Centrus, said:

This facility is a significant development in the social housing sector in terms of availing of flexible private finance in Ireland. The key benefit to this facility is that once long-term funding is secured, the funds can be continually reused to acquire more social housing…finance with purpose.

ByrneWallace law firm advised on the loan facility and all conveyancing aspects of the transaction. Deirdre McBennett, Partner in Banking & Finance, said:

This project is a good example of the significant momentum that is building within the social housing sector, and it demonstrates the focus and determination among all parties – stakeholders and advisers alike – to get deals done in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. The facility provides great flexibility to Circle in terms of its future ambitions for provision of social housing, and ByrneWallace is delighted to be a part of that process.