Brixton-headquartered Ekaya Housing Association is to push forward with plans to build more than 65 new homes in the next three years, after securing eight-figure funding from NatWest.
The housing association will use the £12m funding package to grow its existing portfolio of around 450 homes for affordable rent, shared ownership and supported housing across seven South London boroughs.
Established in 1987, the housing association brought together the critical work of two Lambeth hostels in supporting young, single black women living in London. Today, the not-for-profit organisation continues to provide housing and accommodation support to predominantly black and ethnic minority women and their families in South London.
Ekaya Housing Association employs 26 staff and has operated throughout the pandemic to support tenants and offer continued maintenance, compliance, and repair services. The association’s subsidiary Happy Nursery Days runs a very successful Ofsted rated Good community nursery and employs 20 staff.
Ben Laryea, Chief Executive at Ekaya Housing Association, said: “The funding from NatWest will enable us to expand our portfolio of properties and provide affordable housing to those that need it most across South London.
“As we expand, our focus will continue to be on providing a safe space and environment for predominantly BAME women, children and families to thrive in the local communities where they live. Ekaya is committed to contributing to new housing supply to tackle the housing crisis, and we are delighted to partner with NatWest in showing our ambition.”
The funding forms part of NatWest’s recent commitment to support the housing association sector with £3bn of finance by the end of 2022. This will support the increase in provision of social housing, as well as the improvement of existing properties.
Dharmesh Patel, NatWest Associate Director, Varsha Mehta, NatWest Senior Relationship Manager and Kevin Elsworth, NatWest Commercial Manager have supported Ben and the team at Ekaya Housing Association with the finance.
Dharmesh Patel said: “At NatWest we are committed to supporting housing associations and have provided a funding package that will help Ekaya Housing Association meet its goal of delivering affordable housing to BAME women and families across South London. We will continue to support Ekaya as it expands it portfolio of affordable, supported and shared ownership housing that it both owns and manages.”