NAME OF ORGANISATION: ACH (Ashley Community Housing)
LOCATION: Bristol, UK
YEAR FOUNDED: 2008
ABOUT: ACH supports migrants and refugees who reside in the UK to lead self-sufficient and ambitious lives through increased access to support, training and education.
INVESTMENT PURPOSE: Together, ACH and Resonance developed the UK’s first Sharia compliant financing model for purchasing properties to house refugees.
INVESTMENT AMOUNT: £500,000
DATE OF INVESTMENT: 2017
SOURCE OF INVESTMENT: Sharia compliant financing model
IMPACT: Education & Learning; Housing & Homelessness;
ABOUT: Many of the people running ACH were once refugees themselves. The organisation receives people exiting UK asylum centres with refugee status who would otherwise find themselves homeless. Many who come are traumatised and have no real understanding of life in the UK. ACH places them into the organisation’s high quality housing. With a secure roof over their heads and time to acclimatise, ACH progress the people they help through a highly successful programme of training in UK culture, healthcare, language and work skills. Successful ‘move-ons’ are people settling into new homes, gaining jobs or going on to further and higher education, plus a simple outcome: family reunions.
PURPOSE OF INVESTMENT: In 2015, all of ACH’s housing was leased from private landlords. As owners raised rents or sold for capital gain, ACH needed to vary their portfolio and gain more control. In 2016 they asked Resonance to arrange investment for them to rebalance by purchasing freehold houses. While raising finance for social housing has its own difficulties, ACH added two more conditions: that it be social investment, i.e. not the high street, and it be Sharia compliant, i.e. non-interest bearing. The result was an innovative, ethical and Sharia compliant financing model for purchasing properties to house refugees.
Richard Thickpenny, ACH: “ACH and Resonance created the Yield Sharing Investment Model. It can comply with Islamic Law whilst providing a return to investors who come from many faiths or none. It creates a balance, wherein the power between an investor and investee becomes co-operative instead of potentially exploitative. The investors benefit as their investment is directly tied to the success of the investee’s mission, yielding a financial return on a fair and equal basis.”
Oliver Pollard, Head of Enterprise Growth at Resonance: “Under standard loan financing, social impact driven or not, the lender is set to receive a certain level of interest per annum based on the amount invested e.g. borrow £100K at 5% and receive £5K interest – this is due whether the underlying asset performs well or not. With the Yield Sharing model, the investors’ returns are tied to performance. The net yield from the property i.e. net income from the rents, is shared between the investors who lend the capital and ACH who support the tenants and maintain the properties. Payments to investors are based on an expectation of what the yield will be, which is paid and re-confirmed annually.”
Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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