A £45m deal has been agreed to fund the transfer of 839 properties from Home Group to East Midlands housing provider Derwent Living. Aviva Investors agreed the deal.
An additional 296 Home Group properties are also being transferred to Derwent Living with the funding being provided by Clydesdale Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
The total funding for both of the deals amounts to £55m for the transfer of 1,135 social properties to the Derby-based provider from housing association Home Group.
The transfer will bring Derwent Living's stock total to about 15,000 properties – making it one of the largest housing associations in the Midlands.
The funding was provided by the Aviva Investors REaLM Social Housing Fund which is part of the asset manager's Return Enhancing and Liability Matching (REaLM) strategy.
Derwent Living's chief executive Peter McCormack said: "Derwent Living is the first ever housing provider to acquire direct investment of pension fund money for social housing in this way. It's a catalyst transaction which we believe will benefit the whole UK housing sector – allowing other registered social landlords to seek similar funding.
"This funding is particularly significant as it comes at a time when it is increasingly difficult to secure money from banks to provide much needed affordable housing."
"This is a new source of long-term funding without imposing financial covenants. The nature of the deal opens up the possibility of attracting a different source of long-term funding to the banks and bond markets. The nature of the pension fund investment ideally compliments the requirements of affordable housing."