Ground-breaking social impact investment fund achieves final close at nearly £57m

The Real Lettings Property Fund, the largest impact investment fund in the UK, has achieved a final close at £56.8m, increasing the fund by a further £10.3m and adding three new investors.

The trailblazing fund, which is managed by impact investment company Resonance in partnership with homelessness charity St Mungo’s Broadway, buys homes to let to homeless individuals and families in London.  The Fund is delivering both financial returns and focused social impact.

The additional investment in the final close of the fund last week came from Croydon Council, Trust for London, Panahpur and a high net worth individual.

This is a very successful final close to the fund which will allow Real Lettings, a social lettings agency set up by charity St Mungo’s Broadway, to scale up and continue to deliver homes to homeless families and individuals in Greater London.  In the two years since the Real Lettings Property Fund (RLFP) was launched, around240 homes have been acquired or are in the process of being bought. Some 120 properties have already been handed over to Real Lettings so they can be let , and around50 are being refurbished.  So far, 230 people have moved into a home with a secure tenancy and this total is growing every week.

Simon Chisholm, Investment Director at Resonance, said:  “This is the first fund of its kind that has seen a Local Authority working with a social investment solution in order to address a local need.  The fund combines financial returns to investors with a focused social impact, breaking down barriers for those ready for independent living but excluded from the private rented sector. The successful Final Close at nearly £57m has proven that it can be scaled up effectively. We have done work to show that this model could be effective in other areas and we are now close to launching further similar initiatives with other Local Authorities across the UK.

“The keys to the success of the fund are its proven ability to source properties that are suitable for those who need them, at a price that makes sense from an investment perspective, and the close partnership with a charity which has the experience and expertise to deliver successful tenancies. The fund’s ability to guarantee a predictable volume of properties that can be offered at affordable rental rates and which provide a sensible risk-adjusted return to investors, means St Mungo’s Broadway can move more people from homelessness into new transitional accommodation that supports them on a path to secure independent living in the future.”

Susan Fallis, Director of Real Lettings, said: “Reaching this level of investment shows that the Real Lettings Property Fund model of social investment works. Since the Fund started we have been able to help more people escape homelessness by providing a secure tenancy and support from our social lettings agency. As a result, a significant number of families have been prevented from spending long periods of time in unsuitable temporary or bed and breakfast accommodation or having to move outside London away from their support networks.”
The Real Lettings Property Fund was launched in early 2013 and other investors have included L&Q, Big Society Capital, City of London, Esmee Fairbairn, Lankelly Chase and a private individual investor.