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Tue September 21 2021

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Government lends £40m to later living developer

23 Aug Homes England, the government’s housing agency, has agreed a £40m loan to Audley Group, a property developer that specialises in building homes for retired people.

Mayfield Watford under construction, July 2021
Mayfield Watford under construction, July 2021

The loan is expected to accelerate the construction of 255 mid-market retirement flats in Watford, a development that is part of Audley’s new Mayfield Villages portfolio.

Homes England backing follows support fom Audley from US investment house BlackRock. Earlier this year Audley set up Mayfield Villages as a £500m joint venture with BlackRock, to build at least three retirement complexes.

Watford is the first of these Mayfield developments – it is being built between the hospital and the park. Balfour Beatty started its £130m construction contract back in 2019.

Homes England chief executive Peter Denton justified speculating with tax payers money, saying: “First and foremost this will enable hundreds of later life customers to enjoy high-quality, independent living accommodation for years to come. The area will benefit from enhanced care provision and family homes will be freed up for the next generation. Our loan directly addresses market funding challenges due to the pandemic and highlights our commitment to ensuring diverse communities.”

Audley Group chief executive Nick Sanderson said: “The transaction with Homes England is an important milestone for the retirement living sector. A coming of age. Government backing underlines the importance placed on increasing provision in the retirement living sector and developing more innovative housing solutions.

“Our aspiration to transform retirement is shared with both Homes England and BlackRock Real Assets and this will be the focus as we look to the future.”

CGI of the completed development
CGI of the completed development

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