NatWest announces £3bn funding to build 20,000 new homes

The bank has stepped in to ensure there was no funding interruption to the social housing sector, warning that homes will be critical to Britain’s rebuild following Covid-19 lockdown

NatWest is promising £3 billion over the next three years to develop 20,000 new homes to help the social housing sector rebuild following the Covid-19 crisis.

The bank, which changes the name of its parent company to NatWest Group from the Royal Bank of Scotland today, pledged its support for the National Housing Federation’s Homes at the Heart national campaign.

They have warned that the social housing sector is not only vital to the economy but is also critical to the country as it emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown, particularly for the people and families who rely on affordable housing that has been in such short supply throughout Britain’s housing crisis even before the pandemic.

NatWest has been working throughout the lockdown to complete deals that were in progress as the pandemic hit the UK to ensure that there was no funding interruption to the sector. They have also raise funds in issuance through the Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group, said: “It has never been more critical to support the delivery of housing in the UK as more and more people have had to stay in their homes for prolonged periods during the pandemic. Many people have homes where they feel safe and comfortable, but there is still a significant number who don’t.

“We are a strong supporter of the housing sector and its effort in solving the housing crisis, with £12bn currently committed to the sector. But we want to do more and provide more support over the years to come, aligning with our purpose at NatWest Group of helping our customers and communities succeed. That’s why we’re committing £3bn of new funding by the end of 2022 to ensure that more people and families can have a sanctuary they call home.”

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Today’s commitment by NatWest builds on its support for the Homes at the Heart national campaign.

The move has been backed by Shelter, who have been championing social housing as “vital” to recovery from Covid-19 throughout the pandemic.

The housing charity are also key member of The Big Issue’s Ride Out Recession Alliance, which is aiming to protect jobs and prevent people falling into homelessness in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate told The Big Issue why the charity is joining forces with us. She said: “The more voices that join together the better. I’m absolutely delighted to see The Big Issue calling for social housing because it is the only answer to the crisis.

“There is so much at stake and so little time left to prevent disaster – we’ve all got to talk and work together to make sure things get done and done fast. Going back to how things were is not an option.”