Resonance and Patron Capital secure new investors for the Women in Safe Homes fund, with £26m raised so far.
Social impact investment company Resonance, a leader in homelessness property funds in the UK, and Patron Capital, the pan-European institutional investor focused on property-backed investments, have secured five new investors for the Women In Safe Homes fund, the pioneering gender-lens social impact property fund that they jointly manage.
Fourth close investors, raising £6m into the fund, include international investor, Casey Family Programs, alongside the Church of England’s social impact investment programme, Snowball and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
These new investors join Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Monday Charitable Trust, City Bridge Trust, The Clothworkers’ Foundation and Comic Relief who joined the efforts of the fund earlier this year, investing circa £5m between them.
These investments will enable the fund to tackle women’s homelessness, providing safe, good-quality and affordable homes, as well as specialist support, to help transform women’s lives.
Commitments from these additional investors amount to circa £11 million and bring the total raised to date to over £26 million, the majority of which is already allocated to pipeline investments based on charity partners’ immediate requirements.
The fund is aiming to reach a target size of £100-£200 million, providing 650 homes across the UK for over 6,000 women over its lifetime.
One of the world’s first gender-lens property funds, the Women in Safe Homes fund provides a solution to the lack of affordable, safe and good-quality homes for women experiencing homelessness, many of whom are survivors of domestic abuse, are leaving prison, have mental health issues, or have other complex needs.
The fund purchases properties and leases them to its charity partners who rent the homes to women at risk of homelessness, with a secure tenancy. The fund’s charity partners include Preston Road Women’s Centre, Nacro, and Refuge. Charity Partners not only support women from a housing and tenancy perspective but, crucially, also provide every woman with person-centred specialist support, helping them recover from abusive or difficult circumstances, enabling them to find stability, rebuild their lives, and ultimately empower them so that they can have choice and control over their future.
The fund aims to provide a good risk-adjusted financial return from rent and capital appreciation, while achieving substantial positive social impact by supporting women facing homelessness.
Louise Swinden, Resonance’s Property Fund Development Manager and lead on the Women in Safe Homes fund said:
“Since COVID-19 there has been an increase in demand for domestic abuse services, including emergency refuge accommodation. However with a 30% shortfall in the number of refuge spaces available, 57% of women referred are turned away, resulting in an even greater need for safe, decent and affordable homes for women. Additionally, almost 60% of women leaving the criminal justice system are released with no home to go to leaving them at risk of homelessness and increased vulnerability. So, I am delighted that our new investors have chosen to invest in the Women in Safe Homes fund, recognising the unique opportunity it offers in providing a long-term housing solution to support women most at risk of homelessness. The new investments the fund has received take the fund size to over £26 million enabling it to make an incredible difference to many women across the UK.”
Keith Breslauer, Managing Director of Patron Capital, said:
“The global pandemic has exacerbated the women’s homelessness crisis. Reports show that domestic violence – one of the main causes of homelessness for women and children – has increased significantly. Women’s Aid found that 61% of those living with their abuser during lockdowns said the abuse had worsened, and 91% of people already experiencing domestic abuse said that COVID-19 had negatively impacted them in at least one way. The Domestic Abuse Bill receiving Royal Assent last month was a key moment in strengthening measures to tackle perpetrators; The Women in Safe Homes fund provides an important next step by helping survivors rebuild their lives after escaping abuse. The fund’s model is innovative in its focus and its ability to provide a financial return while improving society, and these additional investors will help us to provide homes and support at a time when they are critically needed.”
Kathy Hahn, CFA, Director, Casey Family Programs, said: “Women In Safe Homes fund presents a unique opportunity for Casey Family Programs to invest in a strategy that achieves both financial returns and positive social impact. We are excited to partner with Patron, Resonance, and others in Women In Safe Homes fund as it addresses the shortage of suitable housing for women and children with urgent needs.”
Vanessa Morphet, Head of Social Impact Investment at The Archbishops’ Council, said: “We are really pleased that Women in Safe Homes is the first commitment for our Social Investment Programme. This investment complements the wider work of the Church community, both in supporting vulnerable women and addressing housing need, and is an excellent example of how the Church can use its social investment capital in further support of its mission.”
Abigail Rotheroe, Investment Director at Snowball, said: “Snowball is excited to make its first gender-focussed fund investment in Women in Safe Homes. The fund will work with charities to provide safe and secure homes and support for vulnerable women, providing the deep impact that we look for from our managers. We are also glad to continue our relationship with Resonance as investors in previous impact property funds.”
Denise Holle, Head of Social Investment, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “At Joseph Rowntree Foundation, we believe that poverty cannot be solved unless everyone has a safe, secure and affordable home. The scarcity of such homes for vulnerable women and children, including the 1.6m who experienced domestic violence last year, is a well evidenced social challenge that the Women in Safe Homes fund was designed to address. By supporting the fund to increase the supply of suitable housing and the capacity of women’s sector organisations to support the needs of their stakeholders, this social investment will further JRF’s work to solve poverty.”
Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive, Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation, said: “Through our investment in the Women in Safe Homes fund we are addressing an important building block of good health: access to safe and affordable housing. As a health foundation, we look to take a holistic approach to different health challenges. With a secure home and support services, we believe vulnerable women will be better placed to build back their lives, helping them and their families to be healthier in the long term.”
Sara Llewellin, Chief Executive of Barrow Cadbury Trust, said: “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. Women who have experienced domestic abuse or have left the criminal justice system without a safe home to go to are among those groups, and this fund will help address one of their most acute needs which is for a safe and secure home.”
City Bridge Trust Chairman Giles Shilson said: “City Bridge Trust is proud to have invested in the innovative Women In Safe Homes Fund – one of the world’s first property funds specifically focused on women – in collaboration with other funders. We hope the fund will enable women’s sector organisations who support various vulnerable groups – including women escaping domestic abuse, leaving the criminal justice system or with complex issues such as mental health problems and substance misuse – to increase their impact through the provision of safe accommodation.”
Dr Lucy Rawson, Chair of The Clothworkers’ Foundation, said: “A key funding priority of The Clothworkers' Foundation is supporting domestic abuse organisations and we are proud to be utilising social investment to complement our grant-making in this area. Through Women in Safe Homes, we hope to be part of developing an innovative and sustainable financial model for grassroots organisations, allowing them to secure their futures and improve their impact within their communities. The Clothworkers’ Foundation has also awarded a major grant for the parallel catalytic grant programme, administered by Preston Road Women’s Centre, to work with women’s sector organisations in developing their own safe accommodation services.”
Aleema Shivji, Executive Director Impact and Investment, said: “Comic Relief invests in the Women in Safe Homes fund as part of its commitment to help end Violence Against Women and Girls. We believe that the fund – one of the first of its type designed to further gender equality, with Women’s Sector Organisations at its heart – can play a key role in enabling survivors to access the support they need at a critical time.”
Sign up today and keep up to date with all our latest social impact news, innovations and insights so you never miss a thing.
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.
Disclaimer: This website does not contain, constitute, nor does it form part of, an offer to sell or purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, any securities, investments or financial instruments referred to herein or to enter into any other transaction described herein. Resonance is not providing, and will not provide, any investment advice or recommendation (personal or otherwise) to you in relation to any securities, investments or financial instruments or transactions described herein. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website, neither Resonance nor its officers accept any liability for its contents or for any errors or omissions.