Guernsey-based Alpha Real Trust gets Real Housing Co approved as housing association

A Guernsey based real estate investor has received approval from the English social housing regulator to register a subsidiary, Real Housing Co Ltd, as a new “for profit” social landlord.

Investor Alpha Real Trust, which manages assets worth over £125m, saw its wholly-owned subsidiary Real Housing Co officially registered as a for profit on the first of July, according to the latest update from the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH).

According to Companies House, the directors of Real Housing Co, which was set up in 2019, include Brad Bauman, a partner of Alpha Real Trust, and Tim Hayne, a former head of property for BP’s pension fund.

In addition, the firm last September appointed housing association veteran Owen Ingram as a director. Ingram is a former non-exec director on a range of housing associations including Aldwyck and Moat, and has performed an interim chief exec or chair role at Arhag, AmicusHorizon (now Optivo), Yorkshire Coast and Prospect, among others.

Currently Alpha Real Trust says its investment in Real Housing Co is just £600,000, but it is not clear what plans it has to develop the business. Accounts for Real Housing Co for 13 months to March 31 last year show it registered a loss of £144,000.

The registration of Real Housing Co comes just after Housing Today reported the registration of fellow for profit landlord, Flint Housing, set up by the former chair and chief executive of housebuilder Crest Nicholson, William Rucker and Stephen Stone.

There has been increasing interest in the for profit housing association model in recent years, with investment firm Blackstone’s for profit subsidiary, Sage, now owning and operating more than 5,000 homes.

A recent report by Savills found that for-profit providers could build 130,000 new homes over the next five years.

Alpha Real Trust has been contacted for comment.