London Council to invest £150m from pension scheme in social housing
Islington has plans to use £150m from its pension fund to build hundreds of new social housing.
It is thought to be the first London borough to invest its pension scheme in housing.
Richard Greening, chair of the Islington Council pension sub-committee stated, ‘Our analysis confirms that these assets can offer good investment returns while helping to provide the investment in homes and jobs that our economy needs’. Reports Inside Housing.
Currently, the Islington pension scheme is worth £1bn and has 19,000 members. It has also expressed its interests in working with a ‘collective investment vehicle’ (CIV) with other London boroughs to invest pension funds together. Jointly, the 33 London borough pension schemes have more than £24bn in assets under management.
Susan Kane, a partner at consultancy Altair stated, ‘Property is a sensible investment for a pension scheme, and with such a severe housing need in many parts of London, it would make a good deal of sense for others to follow Islington’s lead.’
An Islington Council spokesperson explained that the homes would not all be in Islington as this would ‘concentrate risk too much from an investment perspective’.
Though, the borough is interested in a London wide social housing fund which Islington tenants could be nominated to. However, the borough is interested in a London wide social housing fund which Islington tenants could be designated to. These homes would be at social rents as these ‘deliver inflation linked returns over a long period’ and ‘have a low void rate because of demand’.
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