Community groups and charities


Key Features

  • Our current Variable Rates for community groups and charities range from 4.15% to 6.15%
  • We consider each application individually and where appropriate, a site visit may be arranged with you to discuss your project
  • Mortgages are available on a capital and interest repayment basis, however an interest-only period may be considered on a case-by-case basis during a new build or renovation project
  • Mortgage terms are available from 10 to 30 years, subject to eligibility
  • You can borrow up to 80% of the property’s value, subject to eligibility
  • A non-refundable mortgage application fee of 0.50% of the sum applied for is payable on submitting a formal application
  • An offer acceptance fee of 0.50% of the sum approved is payable on acceptance of a formal mortgage offer
  • We will consider lending funds upfront on land or the unimproved value of a building with outline planning consent
  • Stage release payments are available as the value of property increases via building or renovation work, subject to our maximum loan-to-value at any given time
  • An early repayment charge may be payable if you repay all or part of your mortgage within the first two years
  • Borrowers must be aged 18 or over.  This mortgage is only available to UK residents.

Our mortgages for Community Groups and Charities are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We provide mortgages for community groups and charities

The organisations we support may be supporting the environment or delivering sustainable benefits to local communities in a number of ways, such as:

  • preservation or conservation of local heritage, the built environment and natural spaces
  • tackling social and ethical issues such as fuel poverty and homelessness
  • providing services that maintain and strengthen local economies and communities, including community owned shops, post offices or other mutually owned local amenities
  • campaigning and lobbying for change in support of sustainable and ethical values
  • providing educational and research services that improve the knowledge base on sustainable issues.

We do not provide loans for the start-up of new organisations and will need to see the last three years’ annual accounts

What we lend on 

We don’t have a “tick-box” approach to assessing your project – if we can see an environmental or social benefit and your property can be valued and mortgaged, we’ll consider lending.

We take a balanced view of the social and ecological merits of each case. We do not necessarily require your property to meet high ecological standards to lend, although naturally we encourage improvement, especially where there are evident low cost opportunities to better the energy rating of your property.

If you are intending to build or undertake renovation or conversion work as part of your plans, we will expect the measures you propose to meet our ecological standards via the use of energy efficient measures and sustainable materials.

Our mortgages are available across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Further reading
Our fees
  • A non-refundable mortgage application fee of 0.50% of the sum applied for is payable on submitting a formal application
  • An offer acceptance fee of 0.50% of the sum approved is payable on acceptance of a formal mortgage offer from us
  • We will agree a valuation fee with you using a local qualified chartered surveyor. Payment of the fee agreed will be required from you in advance of the Society formally instructing the surveyor to undertake a valuation report
  • An early repayment charge may be payable if you repay all or part of your mortgage within the first two years.

Our service, fees, tariffs and charges

The Society reserves the right to amend existing services and charges, or to introduce new ones.

Any change to charges will only reflect the increased operational costs of providing the service. You will always be notified before any changes are implemented.

For further details and tariff information please see our commercial rates and charges leaflet.

Charities and community groups FAQs

Do we need to provide planning permission for a new build development?
Yes. We need at least outline planning permission to start the application process and detailed planning permission before the mortgage is released.

What information do we need to progress a mortgage application?
We will need to be satisfied that you have enough income or surplus to meet the mortgage repayments. We’ll also need to see a business plan showing the forecast income and expenditure for the organisation, together with copies of your past three years’ accounts.

What deposit do we need for our mortgage?
You need a minimum deposit of 20% of the purchase price or value of the property(ies) being mortgaged, whichever is the lower.

Do we still need a deposit if we already own the land and have planning permission?
No, you don’t always need a deposit; we can lend based on the value of your land or property, providing you already own the land and it’s mortgage-free. Also, if you need us to, we can help you repay any outstanding finance on the land.

How long do we have to complete a new build or renovation project?
Subject to planning constraints, we allow a maximum of 2 years for you to complete the project.

Do you offer stage payments?
Yes, although we do not release payments at set construction milestone stages (e.g. foundation, wall plate etc.). We release funds as and when the build progresses and release up to a percentage of the increased value of the property.

Can we have interest-only during a new build or renovation phase?
Yes, we can consider an interest-only period during the construction or renovation phase.

Does Ecology require a particular build warranty on completion of my project?
A build warranty is not a mandatory lending requirement of our mortgage and we are happy with a Building Regulation Completion Certificate. However, if you wish to take out a build warranty for the completion of the property then this is acceptable to the Society.

Do we need to have been established for a minimum period before you will lend to us?
Yes, you need to have a minimum of three years’ trading or accounting history

How much will our mortgage cost a month?
As soon as we know that we can help, we’ll provide you with an indicative illustration, showing how much your monthly repayment will be for the amount you want to borrow, over the term you require.

Ecology Building Society was rated as an ethical Best Buy for our mortgages, ISAs and savings accounts by Ethical Consumer magazine in its product guide rankings (May/June 2018 issue).