As part of their overall investment into the Real Lettings Property Fund² (RLPF²) and their continued support, Resonance is delighted to have received a further part investment of £2m from Greater London Authority (GLA) during summer 2019. This investment matched a further £2m raised from other investors which increases the total number of homes purchased from this fund to 325.
This investment will provide a further 15 homes (34 in total), specifically for former rough sleepers and domestic abuse victims and will support the Mayor of London’s ‘move on’ homes programme which sees individuals moved on from hostels and refuges into new homes where they’ll be supported to live independently ahead of moving into private rented or social housing. The plan is for these properties to be available from this autumn through until March 2021.
The number of people sleeping rough in England has increased by 31% in the last 3 years¹.
A total of 4,677 people were counted or estimated by local authorities to be sleeping rough in England on any one night in autumn 2018. Of the 4,677, a total of 3,937 were male, 642 were female and 98 were gender unknown.
London has experienced a 209% increase in levels of rough sleeping since 2010 and accounts for 27% (1,119 individuals) of the total number of rough sleepers in England in 2018. 162 of these rough sleepers were female.
More and more people are sleeping rough. Living on the streets is dangerous. It causes health problems and affects people’s wellbeing. Having a safe and secure home gives former rough sleepers stability, access to support services they need for issues such as mental health and drug or alcohol problems and the chance to rebuild their lives.
According to official statistics², In England and Wales alone, 1.3 million women, and 695,000 men, experienced domestic abuse in 2017/2018.
A 2019 report by homelessness charity Crisis³ has identified more than 170,000 families and individuals in the UK who are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness; if trends continue, this is expected to almost double in the next 25 years.
In particular, the need for social housing amongst survivors of domestic abuse has never been greater; research by Crisis found that 61% of homeless females and 16% of homeless males had experienced violence and/or abuse from a partner.
Women fleeing domestic abuse and violence can end up homeless and without access to a safe home but are typically less visible on the streets than men and instead more likely to become hidden homeless - staying with family members or friends, ‘sofa surfing’, living in squats or other insecure and unsafe accommodation.
And more often than not, women fleeing domestic abuse are not found to be in priority need, so there is a significant risk that they will return to abusive situations, end up sleeping rough or making some other unsafe arrangement. A 2018 report by Women’s Aid⁴ said a survey of some of the most vulnerable women they have supported, who were unable to access a refuge immediately, found that 46% were forced to sofa-surf during their wait for a refuge space whilst 12% were forced to sleep rough and 8% gave up their search and stayed with the abuser.
In order to break this link, survivors of domestic abuse need access to safe, secure accommodation when they flee their abusive home lives. Without this, there is a risk that survivors will be left with no option but to return to a dangerous situation or face homelessness, putting themselves at risk of further abuse and exploitation.
Since the Resonance Homelessness Property Funds launched, nearly 2,000 people - who otherwise would have been in temporary accommodation or hostels – have been housed.
This particular £2m GLA investment means that these 15 properties will be purchased in London and made available for 11 former rough sleepers and 4 survivors of domestic violence.
Once these residential properties have been acquired and refurbished, they will be leased to Real Lettings - the social lettings agency of leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s. Real Lettings will then house former rough sleepers and survivors of domestic abuse; in doing so they are given the safety and security they need to avoid the harms and dangers of homelessness and rebuild their lives.
² ONS (2018) Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics
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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