Blackstone-owned ‘for-profit’ provider purchases 420 homes

Sage Housing has agreed to purchase 420 new homes from housing association Optivo’s development pipeline.

The ‘for-profit’ provider, which is owned by giant US hedge fund investor Blackstone, will buy the homes, which will then be managed by Optivo.

The homes are a mixture of rental and shared ownership properties and are spread across six sites in London and the south east of England.

The deal, which involves grant-funded homes, has been approved by Homes England and the Greater London Authority.

Paul Hackett, chief executive of Optivo, said: “Our innovative partnership with Sage brings significant additional funding into the social housing sector.

“By combining Optivo’s housing management expertise and Sage’s investment capacity, we can provide more high-quality affordable homes for people in housing need. We’ll be re-investing the proceeds in high quality, land-led affordable housing schemes.

“At a time when housing associations are facing major financial pressures, partnerships like this allow us to keep delivering on our mission of building much needed affordable homes.”

Sage revealed last month that it has raised £280m from a sustainable bond to help finance its 20,000 home development programme.

Optivo last week announced a 6.7% rise in its surplus for the first six months of 2020/21, increasing from £30m to £32m. Its turnover also rose from £154m to £172m over the same period. Sarah Smith, chief financial officer said: “”The first half of 2021/22 saw us delivering a steady operational performance with profits ahead of budget due to seasonality in our planned repairs and maintenance expenditur