This is the fund’s second social impact report, covering the year to March 2022. The fund was created to provide a solution to the acute housing shortage that leaves thousands of adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues living in inappropriate housing, or on long waiting lists for housing.
The fund has so far raised £15.25 million from four investors: Big Society Capital, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Barrow Cadbury Trust and Oxfordshire County Council. It now has eight properties across the UK in its portfolio, with seven additional properties approved by the investment committee.
Working in partnership with its two initial housing partners United Response and Reside With Progress, the fund is refurbishing and refitting properties to fit the needs of individual tenants as well as improving the environmental credentials – including EPC ratings to C or above – of the properties it purchases. It is now starting to house people whilst it continues to deploy.
In autumn 2021, the fund successfully moved its first tenants into a property. Three friends who had been at college together moved into a three-bedroom home in Twickenham, suited to their individual and collective needs. The fund’s housing partner United Response worked with the three friends and their families to create a detailed housing specification alongside unique support plans for the three. The three friends have settled into their new home and are living their lives with independence and support.
This is an example of how the portfolio of housing chosen with housing partners is intentionally aligned with the individual needs of tenants with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues, ensuring the right property is bought for each tenant. This means that each person has choice about, and input into, the decision around the property that will become their home.
The fund continues to work with its initial housing partners whilst attracting potential housing and care provider partners from the specialised supported housing sector. It is currently in active discussions with care providers in Greater Manchester – where it is beginning to source properties for potential tenants in line with their specific needs – and with new housing partners in Oxfordshire.
As the fund builds momentum, over the coming years, future impact reports will assess in more detail its impact on tenants and housing partners.
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