Published: April 2, 2014
Unity Trust Bank, a specialist bank for the social economy, has provided Bangla Housing Association with a £4.8m loan to support their purchase of 70 properties in Hackney, East London.
A specialist housing association that provides good quality, affordable homes and support services for Bengali and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities across North East London. Bangla has been managing these properties for over 15 years on behalf of other registered providers.
Bangla now owns and manages the properties which means residents have a more streamlined service and only need to contact Bangla for all of their housing needs. These properties provide housing for nearly 300 people in Nightingale Estate, Downs Road as well as family and single flats throughout the London borough of Hackney. In addition to the 70 owned properties Bangla manages further 189 properties in Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest owned by other registered providers.
Bashir Uddin, Director of Bangla Housing Association, said: “This is a great opportunity for Bangla Housing Association. We have managed the properties on behalf of partners for a number of years and know the residents well. The transfer of stock to Bangla means we are the sole housing managers and can really push our customer satisfaction levels for our new residents. In addition, the financial support from Unity means we have developed our asset base, are financially secure and have more long-term control over our operations.
In our community advice surgeries and workshops last year, we dealt with over 500 cases, helping over two hundred people from the local community. With the extra resources we will be able to expand this service and help more people in the future, as well as ensure continued improvement of our services for residents and the wider community.”
Unity Trust Bank relationship manager Andrew Jesson said of the loan: “As a socially minded business, Unity Trust Bank is proud to provide sustainable banking and finance support to social economy customers like Bangla, which delivers positive social impact in the local communities in which it operates. Housing associations play a vital role in developing local communities and it is important for us to support those smaller organisations that might otherwise struggle to access finance on the high street. We were particularly impressed by Bangla’s focus on excellent housing management alongside its community advice and older peoples services’. We are pleased to help Bangla on the next stage of their journey and look forward to a long-term relationship.”