Forward Funding of Extra Care apartments, Northampton

  • FAH exchanged contracts in April 2017 with HB Villages for the forward funding of 80 x 1-bed new build Extra Care apartments in Northampton.
  • Completion of construction and occupation was achieved in November 2018.

Deal summary

  • Acquisition through a forward funding agreement of 80 x 1-bed apartments for the provision of specialist housing for older people (Extra Care)
  • 20-year FRI lease with Plexus UK (First Project), a housing association wholly owned subsidiary of Mears Ltd (part of Mears Group plc)
  • Property due diligence and valuation commissions completed by JLL
  • Legal due diligence completed by Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Contracts exchanged in April 2017 with residents moving in from November 2018
  • Provision of social benefit through the allocation of homes to older people and vulnerable residents identified as needing housing with care through the Council
  • The scheme is aligned with Northamptonshire County Council’s (NCC) Social Care Accommodation Strategy for Older People 2016-2021. NCC have agreed to enter into a 20-year nomination agreement


This development opportunity arose from long term discussions between HB Villages Developments Limited and Northamptonshire County Council (NCC). The discussions identified a strong evidence-backed demand for elderly housing schemes across the County. Current projections show that provision will need to double over the next 20 years to meet demand. Due to the increasing older person population, NCC are working with various providers to increase the range of specialist housing which can support a wide range of service users. This includes Extra Care housing options.

NCC’s older persons housing strategy promotes independence, where support and care is provided at home or close to home, as opposed to institutional or residential based care. There is also considerable financial saving to the County Council’s budget when compared to care home costs. Planning permission approval under Use Class Order C3 (ordinary residential use) has been obtained for the erection of 80 x 1-bed Extra Care apartments. The apartments will be arranged in three housing blocks (Block A – 24 apartments; Block B – 24 apartments; and Block C – 32 apartments) along with ancillary spaces including restaurant/café, lounges, assessment rooms, external landscaped areas, scooter/cycle store, an under-croft car park (for 9 cars) and 32 external car parking spaces.

HB Villages completed the project and at practical completion delivered the property to the housing association Plexus UK (First Project) Limited ready for occupation under the signed lease and nominations agreement.

Social Delivery

The scope of the project fits well with the social aims of FAH. A social screen completed in line with the FAH Social Performance Assessment Framework indicated a score of 380 out of 500, well above the hurdle level of 300. The Good Economy Partnership independently undertook a full social assessment, the report confirms that NCC have clearly evidenced the social need for specialist housing (Extra Care) as an alternative to residential care and recommends investment in the project from a social perspective. The use of adaptive technology is highlighted as an innovative feature that should help reduce costs of care delivery. Uptake and benefits of the technology will be reviewed annually.


This investment is in Specialist Housing (Extra Care) generating significant social benefit by greater independence and dignity than institutional care. The Project combines excellent social delivery with an expected robust financial outcome.

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