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          Affordable Housing

          The UK affordable housing sector has experienced significant and fundamental changes in recent years, in particular in relation to how it is funded and regulated.

          Innovative responses from the sector mean that traditional barriers between the key sector participants are being broken down, with a willingness to embrace new structures and roles. Our Housing Group has been involved in some of the most ground breaking projects in recent years.

          The affordable housing sector is going through a difficult phase and increases in the living wage is putting added stress on already stretched models, often as a result of sale and leasebacks at punitive indexed rentals.  In addition, reductions in funding, Government-imposed rent reductions and local housing allowance caps, has put further pressure on the sector. 

          The changes are coming thick and fast and through our work with regional and national Registered Providers, local authorities and the Homes and Communities Agency we aim to stay at the forefront of those changes and adjust our advice in response to them.

          Our experience covers all aspects of affordable housing, including care homes, retirement properties and supported housing. This sector is and will remain central to Government policy in forthcoming years, with many of its participants becoming main players in the wider UK market.

          Our affordable / social housing clients include:

          • Places for People Group
          • Riverside Group
          • Karbon Homes
          • Amber Infrastructure
          • Care Visions
          • Highland Council
          • McCarthy & Stone
          • Primary Healthcare Properties Plc
          • Supported Living Options
          • Verum Victum Holdings Limited
          • Bernicia Group
          • The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust
          • Together Housing

          Recent social/supported experience includes:

          • Acting for Places for People Group on sales and acquisitions in and out of its supported housing portfolio, stock rationalisation and void unit disposals.
          • Acting for Supported Living Options (SLO) in their assembly and structuring of a portfolio together of supporting living accommodation with RP partner Inclusion Housing, using a leasehold structure which takes into account beneficial exempt rents.
          • Acting for Karbon Homes, Riverside Group, Bernicia Group and Together Housing on a number of affordable housing acquisitions from housebuilders using a variety of contractual structures (mainly land and build or development agreement, turn-key or golden brick) and having regard to any grant funding.
          • Project Hudson - the sale and forward letting of a portfolio of 11 Care Homes, an innovative model which was exchanged conditional on CQC Registration being completed and likely to be rolled out further across the market.
          • Acting on the development of Henley Health Campus, one of the first transactions in the sector to use the 'surplus land' model to redevelop a Hospital that was not fit for purpose into a health campus, comprising Care Home, PPP Hospital and retirement living accommodation.
          • Acting for Primary Healthcare Properties plc in relation to its proposal to provide funding for projects in the supported housing sector, including advice on lease-based structures and the regulatory framework for RPs.
          • Acting for a developer forward funding a portfolio of supported living units through a £35m facility with a major UK Pension Fund, and broking the deal between fund, developer, RP and care provider.
          • Acting for ISOS Housing Limited (now Karbon Homes) on the development of a £5 million, 58 unit extra care scheme, involving a mix of affordable rented units and those to be sold on shared ownership for the elderly (LSE) terms. We prepared the site set-up for the shared ownership units and handled the plot sales. We also advised on the related CSSHF funding agreement and field queries from the home ownership team regarding applicant eligibility and compliance with the relevant s106 obligations.
          • Acting for 54 Danish K/S funds in the restructuring of 54 Care Homes which were let to Southern Cross companies, entailing the variation of operating leases and of the debt which sat behind each ownership interest.

          In Scotland:

          • Acting for Care Visions (Scotland’s largest provider of residential care for children and young people), acquiring a leasehold portfolio of usually rural residential properties, developing model leases which have regard to their particular planning, local authority and care commission requirements.
          • Advising the Highland Council on the procurement of long-term care services from two newly built care homes including drafting the documentation dealing with the development and operational phases of the project and negotiating with bidders. The project required an innovative approach and structure to address the large number of care home places that the Council required over the 15 year contract.
          • Acting for McCarthy and Stone Scotland in relation to care homes (increasingly involving care packages alongside leasehold arrangements).


          Meet our team

          Kelly Pearson

          • Senior Associate

          David Ratter

          • Partner // Head of Real Estate (Scotland)