The Bradford-based housing association Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has agreed a £50.5 million financial package to help it deliver affordable homes in Bradford and Keighley.
The deal, made up of £36.05 million of new cash from Royal Bank of Scotland and £14.45 million of existing funds, will allow MHA to add over 100 new properties to its housing stock over the next five years.
The agreement shows continuing improvement at MHA as it comes less than four years after the housing association was given a non-compliant governance rating by the Regulator of Social Housing.
Lee Bloomfield, chief executive of MHA, said: “Having been unable to add to our housing stock for a considerable period, we aim to grow our property portfolio by around 10% over the next five years – taking the total number of units to more than 1,500.
“These are exciting times for MHA, particularly in the wake of the changes made to improve what we do and how we do it. We can now concentrate fully on our core mission of providing high quality affordable homes to individuals and families in Bradford and Keighley who really need them.”
In late 2016, MHA had its governance rating downgraded from G1 to a non-compliant G3, followed shortly after by a reduction in its financial viability rating from V1 to V2.
This led to a major organisational review at the organisation, resulting in the recruitment of a new chair, new board members, and of Bloomfield as chief executive.
The RSH restored MHA’s V1 financial viability rating in December 2018, while its governance rating was finally returned to G1 in March this year.
MHA’s growth in housing stock will be achieved by a combination of new build properties, open market acquisitions, and bringing empty homes back into use, said Shendi Keshet, MHA’s director of finance and resources.
The housing association has finalised a ‘Unit Growth Strategy’ which will help map its investment in purchasing and refurbishing existing properties as well as constructing new affordable homes, she added.
“This carefully considered approach will help us to reduce any risk to the resources we are putting in and allow MHA to address local housing needs in the most efficient and effective way possible,” Keshet said.
MHA’s chair, Barrington Billings, said it is vital that MHA plays its part in tackling the national housing crisis by delivering as many affordable homes as possible.
“The vast majority of MHA homes are in the most deprived areas of Bradford and Keighley with high BME populations,” Billings said.
“We will always be committed to these neighbourhoods and, guided by our Unit Growth Strategy, are firmly focussed on ensuring the new funds are used to greatest effect.”
MHA manages over 1,400 homes in Bradford and Keighley, largely serving the housing needs of Bradford’s black and Asian communities.
Image: Manningham Housing Association (MHA)’s building in Bradford. Credit: MHA