Making places where community comes first

Places for People (PfP) is one of the UK’s leading housing associations, driven by an ethos to build and manage homes in communities where everyone feels welcome and can thrive. PfP currently manages more than 230,000 homes throughout England, Wales and Scotland, and through strategic partnerships and joint ventures, are also delivering several large-scale regeneration and development projects across the UK.

Across its property management, development and leisure businesses, the 12,000 employees of the group are committed to ensuring the company’s products and services make a positive impact on people, places, and the planet. In 2013, PfP published its first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, followed by its first ESG report in 2020. The group’s 2021 ESG report aligns with the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing of which PfP was an early adopter. One year later, PfP published its Sustainable Finance Framework, which focuses on Affordable Housing, Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency.

PfP has also been awarded the Certified Sustainable Housing Label (CSHL) by specialist consultancy RITTERWALD.

NatWest advises PfP on new sustainability-linked facility

Seeking to simplify its funding structure, PfP sought to refinance a number of bilateral debt facilities into a new syndicated £900 million Sustainability-Linked Revolving Credit Facility (RCF). NatWest was mandated to lead the refinance, undertaking the roles of sole Documentation Coordinator and joint Sustainability Coordinator.

Positive uptake from existing lenders and one new bank allowed PfP to secure a 3 year unsecured £900 million RCF, which includes an uncommitted £250 million Accordion as well as two 1 year extension options, providing flexibility to accommodate the housing association’s growth ambitions.

To align the financing with PfP’s sustainability strategy, which is geared towards a net-zero carbon future and creating a positive impact on communities, PfP sought to include three ESG Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the facility: 1) improving the energy efficiency of the group’s housing stock, 2) supporting employment via the group’s Apprenticeship Levy, and 3) providing training opportunities.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP acted as lender counsel on the financing with Allen & Overy LLP providing counsel to the borrower.

NatWest proud to help accelerate the UK’s sustainability journey

Matt Cooper, Tax & Treasury Director, Places for People, commented: “We are really pleased with the outcome and would like to thank the banks involved for their continued and trusted partnership. This is a landmark transaction for the Group as it further showcases our ESG credentials. Also, as the UK’s leading social enterprise, the facility makes a significant impact on, and contribution to, our ongoing mission to create and support thriving communities.”

Kim Slater, Managing Director Loan Markets, NatWest, said: “This inaugural transaction is yet another example of NatWest’s commitment to help build a low carbon economy and future, by partnering, guiding, and leading our corporate and institutional customers on their transition to net-zero. It helps demonstrate the important role that banks have in supporting sustainable growth as we look to provide £100 billion of Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing to our customers by the end of 2025.”

Hedley Hadfield, Director Housing Finance, NatWest, added: “NatWest is delighted to have been able to continue to support PfP by being a lead lender for the new Sustainability Linked Loan facility. We want our customers and wider communities to succeed. Providing funding to the Social Housing Sector, enabling the development of new social housing so that more people can have an affordable, energy efficient and safe place to call home, is a key part of this. Leading this new Sustainability Linked financing is an excellent way for the bank to help PfP with its priority of supporting the communities it works with.”


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