Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Affinity writes down £13m

Mega-association Affinity Sutton has written down losses of £13 million in its 2008/09 accounts - the biggest-ever write-down by a housing
association.

The punishing write-down slashed more than a third off the 54,000-home landlord’s bottom line, cutting its surpluses for the year from
£33 million to £19.6 million.

A spokesperson for the Tenant Services Authority said: ‘We are not aware of any higher impairment charge this year, or in any previous years [in the sector].’

Mark Washer, group finance director at Affinity Sutton, indicated that the write-down’s size was in part because it had not taken large sums of bailout grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Many associations have been able to avoid hefty write-downs by receiving extra grant from the HCA to convert homes and schemes to rent. Mr Washer said Affinity’s ‘great result’ had been achieved ‘without recourse to exceptional public funding’.

He added: ‘Against the backdrop of the recent recapitalisation of schemes in a number of associations, which required significant additional grant to change the use of planned schemes so as to avoid serious financial consequences, Affinity Sutton managed its exposures independently.’

In April, the association told Inside Housing it had only been allocated £1.5 million of extra grant to convert the tenure of unsold homes.

The write-down covers expected losses on unsold homes, homes currently in development for sale, sites in the group’s land bank, and a joint venture set up with the developer Galliford Try.

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