CKH ‘stronger than national peers’ as credit rating upgraded to A Stable

CKH ‘stronger than national peers’ as credit rating upgraded to A Stable – Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce

May 22, 2024

Peterborough based housing association, Cross Keys Homes (CKH), has today been upgraded to an A Stable rating by Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) following their recent review. The rating indicates that S&P forecast CKH’s financial performance is likely to remain stronger than national peers.
The improved rating reflects S&P’s view that CKH’s strong budget control measures will allow them to sustain strong financial and debt performance despite inflationary pressure on costs.

S&P noted that CKH has a consistent corporate strategy and very experienced and skilled management team which enables it to respond flexibly and proactively to sector and economic challenges – as seen in the recent decrease in its exposure to market sales risk. CKH has identified and performed a number of cost-saving measures to mitigate the impact of its increasing cost base. Additionally, CKH’s development program remains around 60% uncommitted a strategic approach to retain maximum flexibility. In addition, the housing association has worked hard to ensure most of its stock already meets the environmental target of having an Energy Performance Certificate C, which most of their peers aim to meet by 2030.

CKH also benefits from stronger operational performance than many other housing associations, with vacancy rates averaging 0.5% of receivable rent and service charges over the past three years. This is lower than the market average of 1.7% in England over the same period. Coupling that with CKH’s advantageous geographic location of the east of England, where demand for housing remains strong, and its focus on stock quality, S&P believe CKH will be able to sustain good operational performance going forward.

Claire Higgins, Chief Executive of CKH, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our hard work has been recognised by S&P through this upgrade. Despite the extensive economic pressures facing the country and the housing sector, we have remained flexible and able to respond to the constantly changing economic and political landscape.
“Whilst we remain determined to build new, desperately needed, affordable homes, our primary commitment remains with our existing residents and communities. I am extremely proud that we continue to provide our residents not only with the high-quality homes they need, but also with the additional support of our Community Investment programme, independent living solutions for older people and a determination to keep on supporting vibrant, successful and thriving communities.”

Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce