What is the investment opportunity for credit unions?
The Gresham House Credit Union Income Fund (the Fund) is an investment vehicle that will specialise in investing in Tier 3 Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) through the issue of loans for the provision of social housing. It will exclusively invest in senior, secured loans to Tier 3 AHBs for the purpose of funding social housing projects. This will be available for both acquisitions and construction projects, to support Tier 3 AHBs in delivering social housing in line with new build targets under the government’s ‘Housing for All’ strategy.* All loans are supported by funding through the government’s Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) and Payment and Availability Agreement (PAA) support structure.
The Fund aims to provide an opportunity for credit unions to gain exposure to government backed revenue streams in the form of these CALF and PAA contract cashflows (illustrated below) with a strong security package, through the structured loans it will provide to AHBs. These loans will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan, which will be based on a competitive price relative to other debt funding available to AHBs in the market e.g., the Housing Finance Agency, pillar banks. The semi-annual payments of interest and debt principal will be used to generate an appropriate, risk-adjusted return to the credit union investors and repay their initial capital investment over the Fund holding period.
Cashflows on acquisition/over construction period
Cashflows over PAA contract and debt term
Tier 3 AHBs will be responsible for repayment of the loans and the credit strength of the loans is underpinned by the financial strength of the largest, regulated Tier 3 Approved Housing Bodies borrowers. They are not-for-profit organisations with a purpose of providing social and affordable homes and meeting related needs for individuals and families qualifying for social housing, as determined by the Local Authorities. They are subject to regulation under various codes including the Companies Acts, Charities Act and most recently the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019 for the purposes of supporting stronger governance, financial viability and oversight of AHB’s tenancy and asset management.** As not-for-profits, all surpluses generated by AHBs are maintained within the organisations and utilised for their tenants’ benefit. The largest Tier 3 AHBs currently have portfolios of over 5,000 homes and manage fixed assets on their balance sheets of up to €1 billion in total.
Key fund features and benefits:
- Opportunity to invest in Tier 3 AHBs, a new investment class for credit unions which seeks to deliver an enhanced return for credit unions’ reserves
- Seeking to generate an attractive, stable, and secure income stream to credit union investors with an appropriate risk-adjusted pick-up in yield over Irish sovereign bonds
- Income delivery is via semi-annual dividends funded from interest payments on the loans over the holding period.*** Capital distributions via loan principal repayments on a semi-annual basis will pay back the shareholders’ investment over the Fund term
- The Fund offers a secure investment delivered by social housing finance and investment management experts and advisors, under a strong credit management framework designed to protect the credit unions’ capital investment over the long term****
- Provides an opportunity for credit unions to partner with AHBs in addressing the undersupply of social housing through Ireland and delivery of a common goal to improve clients’ wellbeing
- Credit union investors will have the right provide investor feedback on the Fund as well as getting direct updates on performance and strategy through a Shareholder Advisory Committee
*** Paid, net of fees charged to the Fund, as dividend income once the Fund is fully invested (distributions are expected to begin in year three). Please note it is anticipated that during the Fund’s investment period (years one and two) there will be no distribution of income or capital
**** Please see the Fund Prospectus and supplement as well as the Information Memorandum for details on the Fund management and risks
Prospective investors are invited to read the Fund Supplement and Prospectus, along with an Information Memorandum, which is available on request.
Please note that by contacting us to request the above information, you are confirming that you are a Credit Union and therefore a qualifying investor for the Credit Union Income Fund. You also consent to your data being processed for the purposes of providing you with more information in relation to the Credit Union Income Fund and also to be contacted by Gresham House Ireland in relation to this fund. Should you like more information on how we manage your data please see our Data Privacy Notice.