• Bank launches ambition to provide £5billion lending to the UK social housing sector between 1 January 2024 and year-end 2026 in support of pipeline of new homes and improved living conditions
  • New ambition set as bank completes nearly £3bn of lending to UK social housing during 2023, gross of repayments
  • The addition of this £5bn would bring new lending to the UK housing associations sector between 1 January 2020 and end 2026 to over £11bn


NatWest Group has announced a new package of targeted lending and support for UK social housing, aimed at supporting local housing authorities and homeowners alike in the face of ongoing economic pressures.

Through a new ambition of £5billion of lending (New funding gross of repayments and amortisations) over three years from 1 January 2024 to year-end 2026, the bank is aiming to support the delivery and maintenance of social housing in the UK, which is vital to the people and families who rely on affordable housing, as well as the wider economy.

According to a recent report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research Cebr, National Housing Federation and Shelter, social homes are more stable than private renting, as tenancies are secure, leading to better socioeconomic outcomes and increasing rates of employment. The report also found that in 2023 there was a net loss of nearly 12,000 social homes, while 1.3million households are on a waiting list in England. 

This lending should help the housing associations sector to deliver a pipeline of new homes and improve living conditions in existing properties, thus improving the availability and quality of social housing in the UK. Alongside the construction of new properties, this lending could also help housing associations finance energy efficiency and environmental solutions, such as retrofits.


Robert Begbie, CEO, Commercial & Institutional Banking, NatWest Group said:

“We are proud to be a major lender to the UK social housing sector, which continues to deal with multiple priorities such as the demand for new and upgraded housing, and the critical challenges of energy efficiency, fire and tenant safety.

In 2023, we completed nearly £3bn of new funding to help more people and families have access to housing. We support around 200 housing associations across the UK, and are proud to announce our ambition to provide a further £5billion in funding to support the housing association sector by the end of 2026.”


£5bn for social housing

Today’s announcement is the bank’s latest signal of support to the housing association sector. In February 2021, the bank issued a €1 billion affordable housing social bond, the first of its kind by a UK bank, using the bond proceeds to finance or refinance loans to not-for-profit registered housing associations operating in the UK.

NatWest Group has also helped deliver for the sector across the UK: under its Ulster Bank brand in Northern Ireland, the bank recently concluded a lending transaction of £70m for social housing developer Choice Housing, with the developer planning to deliver nearly 1,000 new homes across Northern Ireland.

In Scotland the bank delivered a £96million loan to Aberdeen-based Grampian Housing Association (GHA) to finance the development of 1,000 new sustainable homes in the region. The loan provides GHA with the necessary flexibility to continue supporting its communities and tenants, where it currently provides services to over 4,000 households.



The bank has deepened its work with The Royal Foundation’s Homewards programme, whose aim is to prevent and end homelessness. The programme has identified the need to unlock more housing, and an important element of that is increased lending from bank focussed on social housing. With collaboration at the centre of Homewards’ mission, NatWest Group is actively engaging with the programme to explore how it can offer support and expertise to help prevent homelessness.

Homewards works in six flagship locations (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, Northern Ireland, Aberdeen, Sheffield and Newport and Lambeth), and through its work with the bank’s Regional Boards across the UK, and at a national level, the bank is exploring a response, in a collective effort to help prevent homelessness in these areas across the next five years.



Notes to editors:

This press release is for media use only and is not a financial promotion.

  • The £5bn lending is limited to regulated social housing sector not-for-profit registered housing associations operating in the UK and applies from 1 January 2024 until 31 December 2026 to all types of lending facilities
    • Subject to due diligence and credit approval.
    • Security may be required.
  • In August 2023 NatWest Group became the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s first partner within the finance sector to sponsor retrofit learning modules, ensuring resources are freely accessible to professionals in the built environment industry. With 80% of the UK’s projected 2050 building stock already built, these skills are vital to creating more energy efficient homes and buildings that are warmer, cheaper to heat and generate lower emissions.
  • Product fees may apply. Subject to due diligence and credit approval. Security may be required




Mike Johnston

Head of Media, Commercial & Institutional Banking


07584 403860


About NatWest Group

NatWest Group is a UK-focused banking organisation, serving over 19 million customers, with business operations stretching across retail, commercial and private banking markets.


Caution about the information in this announcement.

This announcement contains unaudited management information derived from management systems that are subject to different controls to those used in financial reporting.


Caution about Forward-looking Statements in this announcement.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements, aims, ambitions, estimates, intentions and plans, including but not limited to NatWest Group’s ambition to provide £5 billion in lending to the UK social housing sector between 1 January 2024 and year-end 2026.

Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that might cause actual results and performance to differ materially from any expected future results or performance expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to differences in current expectations include, but are not limited to, future growth initiatives, the outcome of legal, regulatory and governmental actions and investigations, the level and extent of future impairments and write-downs, legislative, political, fiscal and regulatory developments, accounting standards, competitive conditions, technological developments, interest and exchange rate fluctuations, general economic and political conditions and the impact of climate-related risks and the transitioning to a net zero economy.

Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements.

This cautionary statement should not be regarded as a complete and comprehensive statement and should be read together with the ‘Risk Factors’ contained in the NatWest Group plc 2023 Annual Report and Accounts published on 16 February 2024.

The forward-looking statements contained in this document speak only as of the date of this document and NatWest Group does not assume or undertake any obligation or responsibility to update any of the forward-looking statements contained in this document, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required.


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