National Homelessness Property Fund Launches with £30m Investment

Social impact investment company Resonance and homelessness charity St Mungo’s have launched the National Homelessness Property Fund (NHPF). The Fund will be investing in residential property which will be let to individuals and families who have been homeless, or are at risk of homelessness. Properties will be managed by St Mungo’s social lettings agency Real Lettings.

Oxford, Milton Keynes and Bristol councils have each invested £5m into the NHPF, with matched investment of £15m from Big Society Capital. The Fund will aim to raise further investment in mid-2016 and achieve a total size of £60-100m over the next two years.

The Fund “takes national” the formula that Resonance and St Mungo’s have successfully been using for almost three years in London with the Real Lettings Property Fund (RLPF), which raised investment of £57m. The RLPF will shortly have completed the acquisition of a portfolio of over 300 properties in London, helping around 1000 people who faced homelessness.

As with the RLPF the National Homelessness Property Fund will measure the positive impact on tenants, including improvements in their ability to access other private rented sector accommodation as they build savings and a track record as a tenant. Tenants are also supported to progress towards employment and build resilience against homelessness through social connections and financial management skills. In its second social impact report last year, the RLPF reported a 98% success rate in tenants maintaining tenancies, alongside other positive indicators of impact.

Simon Chisholm, Investment Director of Resonance, said “We are delighted to see the national fund start investing in three initial areas and look forward to expanding its work around the country with further investment later this year. With around £90m of investment committed across the two funds now, it is a strong endorsement for social impact investment, which shows that investors can achieve commercial risk-adjusted returns whilst backing social enterprise.”

Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: “A shortage of genuinely affordable housing is contributing to rising homelessness and rough sleeping. Our work with Resonance is about finding new solutions to this problem. The new national fund will help people stay within their local support networks, to keep their kids at school and to move towards securing longer term tenancies. We very much want this new fund, based on partnership working, to be available to help more people where and when they need it.”

James Burrows, Investment Director of Big Society Capital said: “It has been great to see the success of the Real Lettings Property Fund in Greater London providing transitional accommodation and support to those who need it. Through our investment in the National Homelessness Property Fund, we are pleased to continue to back Resonance and St Mungo’s as they build on this and replicate the model nationally. This fund will create more homes for more people to provide a platform for stable, fulfilling lives.”