UK insurance giant Legal & General has made its first foray into the social housing market in Ireland, acquiring a 40-unit apartment scheme in Raheny, north Dublin, in partnership with Irish housing agency Clúid.
The €18.8 million Blackbanks View scheme, which will house more than 100 social tenants, is part of a wider collaboration between Legal & General and Clúid.
In December they said they planned to jointly invest €54 million in various social projects in the Republic over the next two years. The partnership is expected to deliver 200 social units.
It marks the first large-scale investment in social housing here by a big international player, and the arrival of long-term pension fund capital to the approved housing body (AHB) sector.
It is also the first time an Irish AHB has secured financing on this scale from a private entity.
Clúid, one of the largest AHBs in Ireland with a portfolio of more than 8,300 homes, plans to deliver an additional 3,000 before the end of 2022.
The Blackbanks View scheme, developed by Dublin Loft Company, includes 11 one-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom and five three-bedroom apartments.
Currently some 61,800 households are on local authority housing waiting lists. Official figures released in March show this figure declined by almost 10 per cent in 2020 as more social homes became available.
"Clúid Housing is committed to delivering good quality social housing, and we are delighted to partner with Legal & General to deliver Blackbanks View here in Dublin," said Fiona Cormican, Clúid's new business director.
“This new financing agreement provides a means for Clúid to scale up our ambitious targets and deliver homes for the most vulnerable in our society.”
Steve Bolton from Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM)said: "We're delighted to continue to expand the LGIM business in Ireland; as well as our investments in affordable housing, bringing much-needed long-term pension fund capital to the sector.
“The delivery of these new homes demonstrates the continued momentum of LGIM Real Assets’ partnership with Clúid. Since announcing the financing in December 2020, Clúid has already delivered the first tranche of new social homes and welcomed over 100 residents,” he said, noting LGIM has invested over £1.5 billion (€1.7bn) to date in affordable housing across the UK and now Ireland.