What you need to know to invest in this fund
The Women In Safe Homes fund, believed to be the world’s first gender-lens property fund, provides a solution to the lack of affordable, safe and secure homes across the UK for women and their children, who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. They may be survivors of domestic abuse, been involved with the criminal justice system, or have other complex needs including mental health problems.
Alongside the potential of a financial return for investors, the fund has a strong focus on achieving substantial positive social impact, by supporting women in challenging circumstances. Partnering with women’s sector charities, women will be provided with housing and access to the support networks needed to help them rebuild their lives.
The fund acquires properties and leases these to women’s sector and homelessness charities which, in turn, will rent to women, with a secure tenancy, who would otherwise be experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The impact of these charities to reliably scale up the provision of safe and secure housing in the community for this group is huge.
The fund has a target size of £100 million and aims to provide around 650 affordable homes across the UK. 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.
The fund's first close was in December 2020 at £15.5m.
The need for the fund was highlighted by Big Society Capital as part of its work addressing the housing needs of people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. They carried out a survey of sixty women’s sector organizations and discovered a significant demand for specific housing for women in challenging circumstances.
This led to Big Society Capital drafting a property fund proposal. Resonance is managing the fund with leading property investor Patron Capital.
The fund has formed its first partnerships with leading women’s sector charity, Preston Road Women’s Centre in Hull, which will offer safe homes and help other women’s sector organizations to replicate its pioneering recovery model for women and children, social justice charity Nacro, and women's domestic abuse charity, Refuge.
Further women’s sector and homelessness charity partners are currently being sought.