The Resonance Supported Homes Fund (RSH Fund) is being launched as a solution to the housing shortages leaving hundreds of adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental illness in long-stay hospital beds and similar institutions.

The Fund will provide a person-focused solution by investing directly into residential properties across the UK. The properties purchased will include self-contained and multiple occupancy flats/houses/bungalows and blocks of flats with self-contained units, refurbished and adapted to a high standard to suit the needs of every individual, enabling them to lead independent lives.

Properties will be leased to learning disability and mental health charity partners and housing providers who will rent them to individuals, helping them manage their tenancies and properties and also provide specialist support to help them live their lives with choice and independence. The impact of our charity partners to reliably scale up the provision of appropriate housing in the community for this group is huge.

The Fund has a target size of £100 million and aims to provide homes across the UK where need has been identified. It will follow a traditional pattern with an objective of income generated from rents and capital from appreciation when the properties are sold (most likely to a follow-on social impact investment fund). It will also build on the successes of the social impact model implemented through our three Homelessness Property Funds and our gender-lens property fund, the Women in Safe Homes Fund.

The need for the Fund was highlighted following a BBC One Panorama undercover programme in 2012 showing patients at Winterbourne View, a residential care home for people with learning disabilities near Bristol, being physically and mentally assaulted and abused by staff members, heightening concerns around the treatment of disabled people in care.

In 2014, Sir Stephen Bubb was commissioned by NHS England to develop a third sector solution to transforming the commissioning of services for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems. His reports, Winterbourne View – A Time For Change and

Winterbourne View And Social Investment (published by Resonance) concluded there was a need to develop a housing services solution through the development of a new ‘life in the community social investment fund’.

Since then however, many people with a learning disability in the UK continue to live in inappropriate housing; they remain on waiting lists for long periods of time; are being housed in local authority areas miles away from their families and support networks; are becoming ‘institutionalised’, facing multiple barriers to discharge and are unable to live independently. In fact, sadly over 2,000* people are still living in institutions today.

As a result, there is a ‘priority need’ for appropriate homes and support for people with learning disability so that they can enjoy independent living within their local community.

In response to this and over a two-year period, Resonance has been working with a large group of learning disability and mental health charities to design a sector-wide solution for broader housing need, developing and creating the RSH Fund.

Key to this impact-led fund is how it differs from current leasing models. It will provide multiple charities with the finance they are traditionally unable to access in existing housing sector models, reduced levels of risk for the charity partners and housing association, and provide leases with fair break clauses and fair rental uplift, not normally associated with these models. The impact of these learning disability charities to reliably scale up the provision of good care and housing in the community for this group is huge, and current property investment structures are not tailored to their needs.

The Fund will be targeting a first close Summer 2020 at around £20-30 million and is currently taking expressions of interest from qualifying investors.


*NHS Learning Disability Services