National Homelessness Property Fund receives second £5m investment from Bristol City Council
Resonance is set to build a property portfolio of c 100 homes where Bristol families at risk of homelessness can receive support from Real Lettings, a social lettings agency run by St Mungo’s, to help them maintain their tenancies, move towards employment, and provide a stable base where children can develop and live healthy lives. The City Council’s previous £5m investment, match-funded by Big Society Capital, financed the purchase of 70 one- or two-bedroom flats, housing mainly single mothers with young children, who might otherwise have been placed in emergency accommodation, which is often inappropriate and expensive.
The National Homelessness Property Fund (NHPF) is built on the success of Resonance’s Real Lettings Property Fund (RLPF), based In London, which with investments of £57m and a portfolio of c 260 properties is one of the largest impact investment fund in the UK. This is now both delivering financial returns to investors and providing social impact through tackling the problem of homelessness. It has been followed by the RLPF 2, launched earlier this year, with so far £45m investment from three London Local Authorities – Croydon, Lambeth and Westminster. The NHPF also already operates in Milton Keynes and Oxford and Resonance is looking to spread the scheme to other cities in the UK. Resonance’s combined property fund investment currently stands at £140m
As a cash buyer, Resonance can acquire the properties (individual units, not blocks of flats) quickly and less expensively, refurbishing them to at least the Decent Homes Standard before leasing them to Real Lettings who are effectively the landlords who then look provide support to tenants as well as looking after the property. Bristol City Council has nomination rights, so they can offer the flats to homeless households to whom they have agreed a homelessness duty.
By providing more affordable rented accommodation and helping tenants towards employment and independence, the NHPF is offering a significant contribution to the reduction of homelessness in our cities. It is envisaged that properties are reallocated every 2-3 years as households are assisted to move on to more settled accommodation and are steered away from ‘the revolving door’ of homelessness.
The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, sees this investment extending a fund which has already made an important contribution to the supply of affordable rented housing in Bristol. “By investing this £5m in the NHPF we are reducing homelessness, giving people better quality housing solutions and providing better opportunities for people across the city. It also means that the council will save money in the long run by relying less on expensive emergency temporary accommodation.”
Managing Director of Resonance, Daniel Brewer says “This is the fourth time a local authority has doubled up their investment. It shows increased confidence that investing in the scheme really works in providing a significant contribution to combatting the problems of homelessness and tackling the need for more affordable rented accommodation. The Fund enables council tax payers’ money to be used wisely, instead of on expensive temporary accommodation. Above all it gives families who are at risk of homelessness, dignity, self-confidence and a new start and helps them away from ‘the revolving door.’“