The Women in Safe Homes fund is a gender-lens impact investment property fund helping address the housing crisis for women escaping domestic abuse, leaving the criminal justice system and at risk of or experiencing homelessness. It was launched in December 2020 as a joint venture of Resonance and Patron Capital with £15.5m in seed investment.

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. Having carried out a survey of sixty women’s sector organizations they discovered a significant demand for housing for women in challenging circumstances. To address this need, the Women in Safe Homes fund was created.

However, there is a chronic shortage of safe, decent and affordable housing for women at risk of and experiencing homelessness. This includes women who have experienced domestic abuse and are in need of a safe place to escape to from their abuser, women who have been released from prison and at increased risk of the cycle of reoffending when they don’t have a safe and stable home to go to; and women - often with children - living in temporary, poor and inappropriate accommodation, struggling to afford housing costs.

Using investment from its impact investors, the fund acquires and refurbishes properties – a mix of emergency refuge accommodation and two- and three-bedroom homes – leasing them to its expert, gender-and trauma-informed housing provider partners.

The fund has seven housing partners so far; Refuge, Nacro, Winner, Daizybell Homes, SaferPlaces, Stop Domestic Abuse and Ella’s, and is in the process of onboarding a further three. The housing partners let the fund's homes to women facing housing crisis, with a secure tenancy. One of the important differentiators of the fund is the specialist wraparound support provided to women by the fund’s partners. This holistic approach means women are not only provided with a safe and stable home but with support, they are empowered to take control of and create lives of their choosing, for themselves and their children. The impact of these housing partners to reliably scale up the provision of safe and secure housing in the community for this group is huge.

The fund has reached it's target of raising c£30 million from 20 investors from the UK and US, including trusts, foundations and HNWs. It aims to provide around 120 affordable homes across the UK and to house around 350 women and their children over its lifetime. 

The fund follows 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) and builds on the successes of the impact property fund model established by Resonance’s three earlier and pioneering homelessness property funds.

The fund is continuing to deploy, acquiring, refurbishing and handing over more properties to partners to meet women's specific housing needs. It also continues to reach additional, experienced housing provider partners who are able to provide the specialist support needed for women the fund is housing.

Please remember if you invest in this fund, your capital may be at risk.