A ground-breaking new housing fund for charities and social enterprises worth over £26 million launched last week.
The fund from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) will invest in the provision of safe, stable and appropriate homes for vulnerable people and their families in the UK. Organisers now hope to attract further investment with a total target of £100 million.
The Social and Sustainable Housing LP was co-designed with charities to ensure demand for investment, and SASC is already working with a number of high impact organisations looking to access funding in the coming months.
Hull Women’s Network (pictured), based at the award-winning Preston Road Women’s Centre, which provides safe homes for vulnerable women and their children in Hull will be the first recipient of the funding.
Lisa Hilder, Trustee at Preston Road Women’s Centre, said:
We are delighted to be named as the first investee of this ground-breaking new fund. We have worked with SASC for the last four years and helped to pilot this innovative approach to creating safe homes for women and children fleeing violence and abuse.
This investment will enable us to offer safe homes to an additional 49 families in the next 18 months and help them rebuild their lives. The funding will also increase the financial resilience of our organisation.
Investors include the Social Investment Business and Big Society Capital, who provided the capital for SASC’s two initial funds in 2014, Garfield Weston Foundation, CCLA Investment Management, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Tudor Trust, City Bridge Trust, University of Edinburgh, Power to Change, Trust for London, Adlib Foundation and Barrow Cadbury Trust.
Ben Rick, Managing Director of SASC said:
We are proud to have created an innovative investment structure in housing that appeals to both borrower charities and investors. The fund will address a major social issue by increasing the stock of quality homes that will be available to communities for the long term.
We are delighted to announce this significant first close, supported by both existing social investors and those entering the market for the first time. Fundraising is ongoing, and we are targeting a total fund size of £100m which will allow us to support 30 organisations to house 10,000 people over the next 10 years.
Caroline Mason, Chief Executive Officer at Esmée Fairbairn Foundation added:
For many charities and social enterprises meeting the housing needs of those they support is difficult. This new fund sets a benchmark in how capital is made available to provide stable and long-term homes for people who do not have them. The investment structure offers clear benefits to both borrowers and investors, which is why it has already engaged the support of so many grant making trusts and foundations.
Photo: Hull Women’s Network