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Record £10m investment for homelessness property fund
The fund will deliver real social impact by helping individuals build their resilience to prevent a return to homelessness… At the same time it can deliver a commercially risk adjusted return for investors on a significant portfolio of London property.
Resonance MD Daniel Brewer
One of the UK’s leading social landlords has committed £10m to an impact investment fund that will provide places to live for people who have been homeless.
The fund aims to achieve first close later this year of £15-£20m and to grow further next year to a target of £45m.
The initiative will address the gap between private rented market homes and social housing by acquiring up to 260, one or two bedroom flats in Greater London. These will be let by homelessness charity Broadway to people moving on from hostel or temporary accommodation but unable to secure a private tenancy.
L&Q’s anchor £10m investment is thought to be the largest single injection into a UK social impact investment fund. L&Q is one of the UK’s best known housing associations with 68,600 homes across London and the South East.
The project has also been supported by the Big Lottery Fund’s Next Steps programme.
Waqar Ahmed, Group Director of Finance at L&Q, said: ‘We have worked with and supported Broadway for many years and have a very strong partnership with them.
‘Their role is essential and closely aligned to our own social mission, but Broadway also have the specialist expertise necessary for working with this vulnerable client group at ground level.
‘The £10m we are putting into the Real Lettings Property Fund is both a financial investment and a social investment for L&Q. We are committed to reinvesting every penny of our financial surplus back into homes, services and communities, and this £10m will be invested through our L&Q Foundation.’
He added: ‘We are confident that the Real Lettings Property Fund will be a success and we are proud to support an initiative which will help take people off the streets, give them somewhere to call home and enable them to make a fresh start in life.’
Resonance’s MD, Daniel Brewer, commented: ‘The fund will deliver real social impact by helping individuals build their resilience to prevent a return to homelessness, progress towards being work ready and building confidence to eventually move into fully independent private tenancies – all social impacts that will be measured. At the same time it can deliver a commercially risk adjusted return for investors on a significant portfolio of London property without the risk of voids. We’re now lining up the first 40 units to complete in the first quarter of 2013.’
Broadway will be leasing and managing the properties through its letting agency, Real Lettings, which will expand significantly as a result.
Howard Sinclair, for Broadway, said: ‘Broadway is a charity working with homeless people across London through difficult times. We try to find creative and innovative solutions and believe the fund is one such initiative. It will make a lasting difference in the lives of people who would otherwise be homeless by providing them with decent accommodation to help them move on with their lives.’