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Centrus advises on innovative new pathfinder financing to fund Irish social housing

Pioneering limited recourse SPV finance allows Oaklee Housing access to a €50m loan facility for the provision of new social homes.

Centrus advised Oaklee Housing, one of the largest Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) in Ireland, on the closure of a long-dated €50m debt financing agreement representing an important milestone in the provision of social housing today.

The loan structure provides Oaklee with access to committed, long-term fixed rate debt from a private funder utilising the existing Capital Advance Leasing Facility (“CALF”) and Payment and Availability (“P&A”) funding support structures available to AHBs from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government through local authorities.

The loan facility will be used to purchase 250 additional residential homes for social housing throughout Ireland. A deal has already been agreed with the Housing Agency for the acquisition of 148 vacant properties, with the majority located in Dublin.

Centrus supported Oaklee through the entire process providing advice on potential debt structures.  Centrus conducted engagements with a range of prospective funders, including domestic and international banks and institutional investors, on behalf of Oaklee before identifying NORD/LB, as the preferred funder.

Jason Murphy, Managing Director of Centrus, commented: We are delighted to have advised Oaklee on this innovative financing package, which we hope will strongly assist in the development of future private financings in the AHB sector.  Ultimately the key objective has been to deliver homes to those who are most in need and we believe this financing will really make a difference.
Sharon Cosgrove, CEO of Oaklee Housing, said: Our innovative SPV financing structure, designed with assistance from our advisors, Centrus, and the subsequent agreement with NORD/LB is putting more than €50million directly into the delivery of c. 250 social homes in the areas where they are needed most.  It is pleasing to see an international bank investing with confidence in large scale housing programmes and we hope others will follow. This is one of the most cost-effective long-term finance arrangements ever used in Ireland and means that we can make public money go further and deliver more. It represents good business for Oaklee and is a strong vote of confidence in our ability to deliver high quality homes for those in greatest need across Ireland in the years ahead.
Michael Rafferty, Group Director of Finance & Resources, Oaklee Housing said: Centrus used their extensive market knowledge to assist us in developing an innovative funding structure for this project. We found them to be proactive, supportive and excellent in finding solutions to complex issues. They have generated significant value for our organisation and I would not hesitate to recommend them