Initiative Ireland plan gets backing of Goldman Sachs

Updated / Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 10:23

Padraig Rushe and Sinead Byrne of Initiative Ireland and Kevin Johnson of CUDA

By Will Goodbody

Property finance platform, Initiative Ireland, has secured the backing of Goldman Sachs Asset Management for its latest financing project.

The new investor will join Fairfield Real Estate Finance as a backer of the joint venture led by the six-year-old Irish firm.

The partnership is raising €900m in funding to lend to experienced property developers with the aim of financing the construction of 7,500 private, social and affordable homes over the next three years.

"We believe our provision of credit provides increased support for developers and that Initiative Ireland's innovative approach will make a meaningful impact on social and affordable housing supply," said Banu Kisakurek, a Managing Director in the Private Credit business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Padraig Rushe, the chief executive of Initiative Ireland said the development would further strength its ability to compete as a new financial competitor in the Irish property market.

"We’re building a truly sustainable and reliable source of alternative funding for experienced property developers, to help tackle the housing crisis," he said.

Separately, Initiative Ireland and the Credit Union Development Association (CUDA) have received approval from the Central Bank for a planned €600m fund provided by participating credit unions to lend to Approved Housing Bodies.

It means lending will soon be able to begin, a development that it is hoped will lead to the construction of 10,000 new homes over the next decade.

"The fund will provide competitive finance to Approved Housing Bodies which play a key role in the delivery of social housing today," said Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA.

"As not-for-profit enterprises, they purchase and commission new social housing for long-term lease back to local county councils."

To date, Initiative Ireland, which is an Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-Up, has built a community of investors who have provided more than €50m in housing finance loans.

Including the latest fund, the company now intends to lend up to €1.5bn in new loans for residential developments over the next three years.