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Glasgow Housing Association Secures £1.3m Loan from Ethical Bank

Yorkhill Housing Association benefits from Triodos Bank loan

06-05-2011 | Long-established Glasgow registered social landlord  Yorkhill  Housing Association Ltd has secured a £1.3m loan from Triodos Bank. Finance from the bank has enabled  the housing association to purchase and develop vital social housing in Glasgow's West End.

Yorkhill Housing Association used Triodos' funding to purchase 13 new-build residential flats and offices, adding to the 891 properties it already owns or manages in Glasgow's West End.

Yorkhill Housing Association was established in 1977 by a group of local Glasgow West End residents who were determined to improve local housing conditions. At that time most of the local tenement flats had no bathrooms, no hot water systems and central heating was scarce.

Yorkhill played a large part, working with the local council to develop and regenerate Yorkhill. As the regeneration work continued, the area became increasingly popular with private developers. Today Yorkhill is a sought-after location for buyers and renters, with demand consistently high.

There are 4.5 million people in the UK on waiting lists for social housing. Triodos expects this sector to continue growing during the next few years, despite impending government cutbacks.

The Yorkhill project marks Triodos' first housing association loan in Scotland. In the UK it lends £20m to the social housing sector and finances leading sustainable organisations in Scotland that include The Wasps Trust - providing affordable, quality workspace for visual artists and cultural organisations across Scotland - to Henderson's vegetarian restaurant in Edinburgh.

Marion Menabney, Yorkhill Housing Association's chief executive, said: "The Association's management team and board members are delighted to have identified a lender that is sympathetic to the non-profit sector. Triodos was one of a number of funders considered by the Association.  The bank offered a winning combination of competitive rates and community-friendly values, making Triodos our clear choice."

David Cousland, Triodos Bank's corporate affairs manager for Scotland, added: 'It was clear from the start how passionate Yorkhill's team is about the identity of the community and its empowerment. We are delighted to be able to finance this project, our first housing association loan in Scotland.

'We look forward to putting our experience gained supporting housing associations elsewhere in the UK to help develop the sector in Scotland, particularly at a time when government support for these types of initiatives is shrinking and mainstream banks are pulling away from the social housing sector.'

The Scottish government is aiming for 10,000 new homes to be built per year, however three main banks account for 75 per cent of lending to the social housing sector in Scotland and the Scottish Housing Regulator is keen for newer lenders to enter the market and fill the gap left by other banks retrenching.

To find out more about Triodos Bank and its range of banking services for ethical businesses and charities, and savings and investments for individuals, visit www.triodos.co.uk or call 0500 008 720 free.

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Notes to editors:

For more information please call
- Will Ferguson:                      0117 980 9770  and  9721,               or e-mail:  william.ferguson@triodos.co.uk
- Marion Menabney:               0141 285 7910,                                   or e-mail: mmenabney@yorkhillha.org


About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank only finances loan customers creating social, environmental or cultural added value - ranging from large ethical loan customers to smaller, innovative organisations meeting local needs. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing and fair trade.
Transparency is a core value: customers are informed about the bank's lending and can target their savings to particular areas of investment.

A range of personal savings accounts is offered, and full banking services are available for businesses and charities.

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