Social Impact Property Fund Manager Resonance* has formed a new partnership between its National Homelessness Property Fund 2 (NHPF2) and Liverpool-based housing provider, Redwing, that will see 68 properties purchased to house people who are sleeping rough.
The properties will house people supported by the Liverpool City Region’s Housing First programme, and the six local authorities’ homelessness programmes.
Buying the properties has been made possible because of investments Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, and the Rough Sleeper Accommodation Programme (RSAP), have made into the fund.
NHPF2 is purchasing these properties in local communities within the six local authorities in the region, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, and the Wirral, with Redwing managing the properties and tenant support services provided by Housing First and Jigsaw.
Across England, the government has recently reported that the number of people sleeping rough in England on any given night in Autumn 2022 has increased by 26% - the first time the government has reported an increase in rough sleeping in over five years. In Liverpool, in 2021/22:
Under the leadership of Mayor Steve Rotheram, the Liverpool City Region is piloting a Housing First approach, which prioritises permanent and stable housing for people experiencing homelessness with wraparound support. Around half of the properties NHPF2 is purchasing will be used to provide homes for people being supported by the project, with the remaining properties being used to support local authority schemes to support homeless people into long-term accommodation.
One of only three Housing First pilot scheme in England, Liverpool City Region’s programme is currently supporting more than 200 people – with nearly 90% sustaining their tenancy. An independent study recently concluded that the region’s scheme saved the taxpayer an average of £34,500 for every person it supported – with each of those people being given a second chance in the process.
NHPF2 is sourcing mostly one-bed properties, plus a small number of two- and three- bedroom family homes and so far, has already bought and started refurbishing 16 one-bed properties.
Properties are refurbished to a high standard, including energy efficiency improvements to help reduce utility costs as much as is possible for tenants. Once refurbished, properties will be let to, and managed by Redwing, with the first three properties available in April 2023.
Redwing will help tenants settle into their new homes, and Housing First and Jigsaw will provide support to help them sustain their tenancies. As tenancies provided by the fund are longer than traditionally offered in the private rented sector, tenants are able to find stability and feel secure enough to put down roots in their local community, as well as build resilience against homelessness and gain confidence to plan for their futures.
Housing First differs from more traditional approaches to homelessness by starting with housing, then providing bespoke, targeted support to deal with mental and physical health issues, such as addiction and the effects of trauma and abuse.
*Resonance’s FCA regulated fund management subsidiary Resonance Impact Investment Limited (RIIL) creates and manages scalable and diversified residential property funds, that provide life changing housing solutions for people facing housing crisis. We launched our first homelessness property fund in 2013, and since then have helped to provide homes for c3,000 individuals and families in over 1,000 properties, in major cities across the UK.
John Williams, Managing Director of Property Funds at Resonance, said: “No one should be living on the streets, without a safe place to call home. This investment from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will enable National Homelessness Property Fund 2 to provide a sustainable housing solution to the rise in people sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness in the region, and more importantly, provide vulnerable people with a home of their own.
“This initiative will provide a lifeline to those sleeping rough and facing housing crisis in region, providing them with a decent and affordable home of their own. Partnering with an expert housing provider like Redwing is vital, as not only are we providing rough sleepers in the Liverpool City Region with a safe place to live but also specialist support to help them find stability, take positive steps forward in other parts of their lives and start to live independently.”
Michelle Brooks, Director of Operations at Redwing, said: “Redwing is a profit for purpose organisation, meaning we reinvest our profits into regenerating places and creating opportunities for people. Over the past 50 years, Redwing have helped thousands of people find a place to call home, so we understand how important it is to have your own front door to close at the end of the day. I am incredibly proud to be part of the Housing First Initiative and to see the impact that this partnership will have on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people across the Liverpool City Region.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “The measure of any decent society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. Over the last decade there had been an exponential increase in rough sleeping – not just in our area – but right across the country.
“One of the first policies I introduced as Mayor was Housing First. It is a radical new approach that is completely different to how this country has traditionally looked to help the homeless. It is principally about putting people in a safe, secure property of their own at the earliest opportunity and providing them with wraparound support to help deal with their often multi-complex needs.
“One of the biggest challenges we have faced is finding enough suitable properties for rent, so we’re delighted to be investing £1.5m to help buy these properties across our area to help provide long-term homes for some of our most vulnerable residents. We are showing how, by treating people with dignity, working together with a coordinated approach and the right political will, we can end some of the worst forms of homelessness once and for all.”
*Resonance’s FCA regulated fund management subsidiary Resonance Impact Investment Limited (RIIL)
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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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