Real Lettings Property Fund Wins RESI ‘Newcomer of the Year’ Award 2015

Real Lettings Property Fund Beats Substantial Opposition to Secure Property Week’s “Newcomer of the Year” Award at RESI 2015

AWARD - RESI Newcomer of the Year 2015

Social investment company Resonance has beaten six other hopefuls to win the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award at the leading Residential Property Awards Event organized by Property Week.

Resonance is a new entrant to the UK residential property market, having set up the Real Lettings Property Fund (RLPF) in 2013. Resonance developed the Fund with leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s Broadway. It is the largest impact investment fund in the UK and recently closed at nearly £57m.

The Real Lettings Property Fund was developed in response to the lack of private rented accommodation accessible to rising numbers of people living in temporary accommodation or otherwise at risk of homelessness in London.

The Fund sources and purchases one and two bedroom properties in the Greater London area and, once these are refurbished, leases them to St Mungo’s Broadway Real Lettings team who lets them to families and individuals who may be at risk of homelessness.

Investors receive a commercial risk-adjusted return on their investment, including both rental yield and capital appreciation on properties. Risk is reduced as investors benefit from a widely diversified portfolio leased on fully repairing and insuring five year leases effectively enabling the charity to underwrite the maintenance, management and void risks.

So far the Fund has purchased 179 homes with 136 of those handed over to Real Lettings and 43 in refurbishment. A total of 126 of the properties are providing real homes for 267 people.  The Fund has another 64 properties in conveyancing.

Daniel Brewer, Managing Director of Resonance, who collected the award on behalf of the teams at Resonance and Real Lettings, explained why the Fund is so innovative:  “The Fund has blazed the trail for local authorities to make social impact investments alongside private and charitable capital at a scale never seen before, demonstrating the potential to be replicated or expanded across the nation.  It is not a London only solution; it would work anywhere to help alleviate the huge number of people that are stuck in temporary accommodation.  The Fund is a better option than clogging up bed and breakfast or hostel accommodation and mainstreams a relationship between the public and private sector with a social enterprise in the middle as facilitator.

“Walking home from the event last night, I felt the strong sense of irony having won the award for helping people who are at risk of homelessness, as I walked past some people rough sleeping.  This is what keeps us focused, as we know there still so much to do. I hope the recognition that the Fund has received will encourage more investors to get involved as they see that this process can be scaled up to make a real difference to the terrible homelessness situation that exists in so many areas across the UK.”

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Daniel receiving the award from Celebrity Host, comedian Alexander Armstrong

Susan Fallis who is Director of Real Lettings and Property Services at St Mungo’s Broadway said: “Congratulations to all concerned at Resonance and Real Lettings, who have worked together in an extremely innovative, effective way to help people who are homeless, or at risk, move into homes and start to rebuild their lives. This RESI award recognition from within the sector is icing on the cake.

“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. We are also delighted to be refurbishing properties with the help of another social enterprise, the painting and decorating enterprise ReVive, which gives people who are homeless work experience on live contracts and, from there, opportunities into longer term employment.