The primary focus of this share offer is to raise finance for Leeds Community Homes' first project, the purchase of 16 permanently affordable 1 and 2 bedroom flats on a city-centre development by Leeds-based developer Citu. The development forms part of Leeds’ new Climate Innovation District – and the flats will be built to a high standard of environmental sustainability. The flats will be made available for affordable rental and sale – and through their role as a Community Land Trust for Leeds they will ensure that they are available for affordable housing in perpetuity. The Society will retain nine flats, and sell seven flats.
If they raise above their minimum target (i.e. the finance that they require to progress with Low Fold) they will be able to reduce the amount of long-term borrowing that they require. If they reach their maximum target, they will be able to deliver the Low Fold project without the need for long-term loan finance. A short-term bridging loan will still be required to fund the purchase of the seven flats that they will subsequently sell on.
As well as contributing to the purchase of rental flats, and the overheads required to deliver the Low Fold scheme, shareholder funds will provide some initial working capital to explore future projects. It is anticipated that these future projects will repay these funds, however if LCH decide not to go ahead with any future projects then this work will be funded by the future surplus from the Low Fold development.
Leeds Community Homes' aim is that as a result of this investment they will subsequently be able to make further progress on a range of projects via a second open community share offer, which they anticipate will launch in 2019 – once the homes at Low Fold are occupied.