In this guest blog, Kumar Ghosh, Social Investment Manager at Barrow Cadbury Trust writes about why the Trust is supporting the Resonance Supported Homes Fund and its approach to social investment:
At the end of July Resonance launched its Supported Homes Fund for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health challenges. The Fund was created to provide a solution to the acute housing shortage for thousands of those adults. According to Resonance, around 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability, up to 350,000 people have a severe learning disability, autism affects around one person in every 100 in the UK, and one in four adults in the UK experience a mental health problem every year.
Around 2,045i] people with learning disabilities in the UK are still residing in inpatient facilities and 1,240 (61%) have had a total length of stay of over two years. Many, if not most, would not be living in these facilities if enough of the right supported housing were available.
The Resonance Fund will work alongside Reside Housing Association and United Response to design a sector-wide solution for supported housing need and address this lack of suitable private rented accommodation accessible to people with learning disabilities. Barrow Cadbury Trust (BCT), along with Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Big Society Capital were pleased to be one of the initial social investors.
Our approach to social investment is to:
We recognise that social investment is not always the most suitable solution, but is one of a range of financing options. One of our strategic priorities is to build a social investment ‘narrative’ which helps social sector organisations assess the suitability or otherwise of social investment to their particular needs.
Our intention is to recycle our funds and to recover our financial investments together with a financial return, as well as secure a clear and measurable social return. But we recognise that social investments may attract a lower financial return than financial investments for the equivalent risk. We believe, however, that this will be compensated for by the ‘social return’.
BCT also manages the Connect Fund which provides grants and investments to intermediaries and infrastructure to make social investment work better for charities and social enterprises in England.
BCT made this investment because:
i) the Resonance Fund provides a long term solution – enabling people with learning disabilities to have long term accommodation in the community tailored to their needs
ii) it is an innovative structure through collaboration with the two partner organisations with sector expertise and direct investment from Greater Manchester Combined Authority
iii) Resonance has a strong track record in managing social impact property funds.
In the long-term this Fund will increase individual choice and improve well-being, creating change in collaboration with the charity partners, contributing to reducing waiting lists for people housed in unsatisfactory/unsuitable accommodation and finally increase the length of tenancies bringing security for this vulnerable group of adults at a very difficult time.
As our Chief Executive, Sara Llewellin succinctly put it in the launch press release: “As we look forward to the recovery phase from COVID-19 we are pleased to invest in housing provision for groups of people adversely impacted by the pandemic. People with learning disabilities and mental health problems are among those groups and this Fund will help address one of their most acute needs which is for a safe and secure home.”
Find out more about the Resonance Supported Homes Fund:
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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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