Decision Maker: WMCA Board
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
(1) A WMCA equity investment of up to £4.78m from the WMCA’s devolved housing and land funds alongside City of Wolverhampton Council investment to enable the delivery of 100 Help to Own units on the Marches site in Wednesfield through the creation of a new Real Estate Investment Trust or other suitable structure as an exceptional proof of concept pilot for a new affordable housing product called ‘Help to Own’ was approved, envisaging that the investment would be in the form of equity but with the potential for the inclusion of capped first loss or other provisions to ensure viability, subject to further detailed due diligence.
(2) It was noted that the funding was fully compliant with the WMCA’s Single Commissioning Framework approved by the Investment Board, the Housing & Land Delivery Board and this board in March 2019 and which had been operational from 1 April 2019, and that that the scheme had progressed through each Single Commissioning Framework Gateway Approval point on the way to this board.
(3) It was noted that this funding was considered to be compliant with the requirements set by central Government for devolved housing and land funds administered by WMCA.
(4) It was noted that this proposal had been co-developed with officers from the City of Wolverhampton Council, the promoter of the Help to Own Marches project.
(5) It was noted that the 100 units would be purchased from WV Living, a private limited company set up by the City of Wolverhampton Council.
(6) It was noted that the pilot would be subject to ongoing evaluation with six monthly reports of progress to the Investment Panel and Investment Board, as well as annual reports to this board.
(7) It was noted that this proposal had been jointly developed by WMCA s151 Officer, Monitoring Officer, Director of Investment & Commercial Activities and Director of Housing & Regeneration.
These resolutions were subject to:
(8) The results of detailed accounting, taxation and legal advice in relation to the Marches Help to Own Real Estate Investment Trust, which was to be jointly commissioned by the WMCA and the City of Wolverhampton Council.
(9) The City of Wolverhampton Council confirming that it had secured all necessary approvals and funding to co-invest in the project.
(10) Availability of the debt funding at the terms detailed in the proposal.
(11) The WMCA and the City of Wolverhampton Council being involved in the selection of the property manager by Frontier Development Capital, the proposed manager of the Help to Own Real Estate Investment Trust.
(12) The completion of the detailed legal and financial documentation and due diligence to establish the Marches Help to Own Real Estate Investment Trust to the approval of the WMCA Director of Housing & Regeneration, WMCA Head of Governance, and WMCA Director of Finance.
(13) The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government assurance that this novel investment and the re-use of returns to deliver the purposes and intent of the Land Fund and to reduce the net investment commitment from WMCA was compliant with agreed terms of the Land Fund and accepted as an exceptional proof of concept project.
Publication date: 15/01/2021
Date of decision: 15/01/2021
Decided at meeting: 15/01/2021 - WMCA Board