Islington and Shoreditch Housing Group (“ISHA”) manages and develops quality affordable housing for people in north and east London, especially in Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest. It prides itself on being deliberately small and local in comparison to other London housing associations. This focused and local approach used to mean that finance options could be narrower for ISHA when compared to other housing associations. Refinancing with M&G changed this for ISHA.
ISHA’s vision is to stand out of the crowd as a housing association that consistently provides excellent services, listens and acts upon feedback and goes the extra mile to make sure things get done quickly.
Managing 2,000 units means that ISHA’s scale of financing is smaller than many associations. That does not mean that its financing needs are necessarily simpler, so choice is still important. M&G was able to meet that challenge and offer ISHA a mix of fixed rate and inflation-linked lending, as well as a repayment holiday.
Gary Pliskin, Finance Director, ISHA, said, “The overriding difference with M&G is that the team put themselves in our shoes. They are very commercial and know how to design lending solutions specifically for our needs. Furthermore, their back office support is superb. The deal process was extremely smooth.”
Mark Davie, Head of Social Housing at M&G, said, “Bigger should not be the sole factor that opens more lending doors. It is important to look at borrowers’ requirements and circumstances and take a holistic view. This is very much our approach and it underpins our reputation in being able to create lending choices for housing associations."