Genesis Housing and LINQ Partners (a private investment entity created by housing finance specialists Centrus Advisors) have co-sponsored LINQ Housing. This new entity has been set up to support housing associations in the development and financing of mixed tenure housing – including affordable, shared ownership, market sale and market rent. LINQ Housing is funded by a mix of equity investment, from each of the co-sponsors, and long-term debt, from M&G Investments.
The aim of LINQ Housing is to acquire rental properties and hold them on a long term basis, providing true off balance sheet treatment for the properties acquired without the need for guarantees from existing corporate entities. These properties may be acquired from a range of housing associations, local government and developers.
LINQ Housing launched in March 2016 by purchasing from Genesis Housing market rental properties in two multi tenure schemes in London: 50 flats at Zenith House, Colindale and 27 flats at Mildmay regeneration scheme, Shoreditch. Genesis Housing has transferred these long term housing assets to LINQ Housing (and so moved them off balance sheet) whilst retaining a full management role over these properties.
Winckworth Sherwood advised Genesis Housing on the transaction, providing expertise across a number of areas, including Corporate (James Duncan), Property (Andrew Murray) and Finance (Louise Leaver).
Louise, who is Head of Housing Finance at Winckworth Sherwood, notes that this scheme offers a new and efficient long term funding structure for Genesis Housing: “Housing Associations and Councils have great potential to develop and manage properties on a long-term basis, but restrictions and covenants in existing loan portfolios can make it challenging to realise that potential. This project required great teamwork from all parties involved and is an exciting step in unlocking the sector’s ability to develop and manage properties in a sustainable, responsible and long-term way.”
For further information please see the LINQ Housing website.