Guest columnist Freddie Waite, Investment Director at Big Society Capital writes:
Many people with learning disabilities, autism and/or mental health problems are living in unsuitable and outdated accommodation, unable to live the lives they choose, access the right support networks and engage in their communities. Initiatives to address this have stalled, despite the clear and longstanding evidence that living independently with support in the community has a positive impact on health and well-being, not just to the people with these conditions but stretching also to their friends and families.
Furthermore, the total need for this type of accommodation is expected to grow significantly in the next ten years (see Mencap’s 2018 ‘Funding Supported Housing For All’ report) due to demographic changes and improvement in health outcomes. That is, solutions are required to help providers of housing and support in this sector to shift and scale existing provision, even more so given the delays and difficulties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Resonance has been researching and co-developing solutions to this problem for the last two years, now taking shape in the form of the Supported Homes Fund, intended to launch this summer with support from Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Big Society Capital. This fund would sit firmly within our Homes strategy and commitment to housing for vulnerable people.
The fund would purchase and lease properties to best in class housing and support providers in the sector, starting with Reside Housing and United Response, who have co-designed the solution with Resonance as part of a broader sector engagement process. This co-development aspect is absolutely essential in order to appropriately address the needs of the sector and create solutions that work for all stakeholders.
For example, we know that many providers have been caught between the options of leasing properties on suitable terms with a few well-intentioned landlords, or at scale with long and inflexible terms which has led to significant financial difficulties and failures which, in turn, have led to well-documented criticisms from the housing regulator. The proposed structure would address this by involving a mission-aligned landlord, and allowing for fairer and more flexible lease terms, at scale. It is the carefully designed detail of these lease terms that is one of the USPs of this proposition. For example, appropriate indexation, scenario-based break clauses – tricky to explain in detail in this blog but which can make all the difference.
We expect more providers would benefit from this innovative approach, supporting their mission and helping them scale their impact. In addition, creating a network of providers that further supports financial risk management between the fund, providers and investors. We also hope this would create wider systemic change beyond just this proposition - by sharing learnings, demonstrating and iterating best practice, and influencing market standards.
This is a great example of what social investment is about, financially investible solutions that can also create system change and positive impact on people’s lives – in this case, supporting individuals to live with independence and choice. We are proud to be a part of this project, coinciding with Learning Disability Week 2020.
Freddie Waite, Investment Director, Big Society Capital
Freddie joined Big Society Capital as an Investment Associate in August 2015. Since then he has worked on a number of projects and issue areas, spanning health & social care, financial inclusion, arts & sports, and is currently based in the Homes team. He joined BSC from Ernst & Young, where his experience spanned financial modelling, strategic analytics and business case planning, across a range of sectors including energy, FMCG and UK and international government. Freddie also has a background in web development and holds a master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Warwick.
Find out more about the Resonance Supported Homes Fund:
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.