Impact investor says it will bring forward the first phase of its ‘significant pipeline’ of homes this year

Civitas Investment Management has secured registered provider status for its subsidiary Quartz Housing.


Andrew Dawber, group director at Civitas

In an announcement made last week, Civitas stated that Quartz Housing would be bringing forward the first phase of its “significant pipeline” of new homes this year.

The investment management firm said that delivering social and shared ownership housing are “areas of high demand with strong environment and social impact built into their operating models”.

Civitas specialises in community healthcare and specialist education facilities, with £3.5bn in assets under its management.

In 2016, it launched Civitas Social Housing, which acquires social homes and leases them to registered providers.

In 2021, the RSH found that two of Civitas’ tenants, Auckland Home Solutions and Falcon Housing Association were non-compliant with the regulator’s governance and financial viability standards.

The regulator noted that both housing associations entered into “long-term lease agreements with no break clauses” and that they bear “the risk that comes from having long-term, low margin, inflation-linked leases as a single source of finance”.

At the time, Jonathan Walters, the RSH’s deputy chief executive, said that the leases were “uneconomic” for some registered providers, who had not fully understood the leases they had entered into or the costs associated with them.

In June 2023, Civitas agreed a £485m deal with Hong Kong property firm CK Asset Holdings for it its wholly owned subsidiary Wellness Unity to take over Civitas Social Housing.

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Civitas took the cash offer despite stating that it “undervalues the long-term prospects of Civitas”.

Bob Heapy, chair of Quartz Housing, said: “Accelerating the supply of high-quality social housing across the UK is an urgent priority, and achieving registered provider status moves us one step closer to becoming an active market participant.”

He added: “We are thankful to the Regulator of Social Housing for recognising what we are looking to achieve with Quartz Housing and look forward to updating the market as we bring forward our pipeline.”

Andrew Dawber, group director at Civitas, added: “Quartz Housing represents our further commitment to delivering additional new high-quality social and affordable housing of various tenures to support people to live within their own communities and to contribute to sustainable place-making.”