BRADFORD-based housing association Accent Housing has made a £225 million bond issue to fund the building of 2,000 homes in the next five years.

Accent has priced the bond at a coupon (or interest) rate of 2.625%. It says this is the lowest ever rate secured by a housing association in the UK for a bond greater than 12 years in duration.

The bond, which has a term of 30 years, is the first ever for Accent. It comes after over two years of detailed planning and hard work to transform the association’s business, governance, finances and new corporate strategy.

Accent will use the bond to build the new homes across the country and the association will also invest in its existing homes and provide new and improved services for its 35,000 residents.

The new announcement follows the association’s recent launch of the Accent Partnership its new service guarantee to customers. The partnership, which is the work of Accent’s executive director of customer experience, and former Bradford Means Business Businesswoman of the Year, Claire Stone, promises better services for Accent’s 5,000 residents who live in Bradford and across the region.

Accent Chief Executive Paul Dolan said: "This is a fantastic outcome for Accent. It has exceeded all our expectations and it will help us improve the homes and services we provide across Bradford and make a huge difference to our residents.”

Accent Executive Director of ICT and Finance David Royston said: “This is a brilliant result after what has been many months of hard work to make sure we are in the best possible position to help make our mark on the country’s housing crisis by developing new, affordable homes for people in need.”

Bookrunners on the Accent deal were Barclays, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets PLC and Nat West Markets who were very positive about Accent’s business plans, governance and organisational structure which increased the demand from investors and resulted in such a successful bond issue.

The bond has set has set a new precedent for future business in the social housing sector across England.