Homes for Good Investments, a Scottish property investment company, has taken a big step forward in helping to address the chronic lack of social housing in Greater Glasgow as it secures funding to buy 80 properties to rent to people on benefits or low incomes over the next two years.
Homes for Good Investments acquires and refurbishes properties for rent to social tenants, such as those on benefits or low incomes, creating a pipeline of affordable homes. Its sister company Homes for Good CIC (Community Interest Company) rents homes to people on social housing waiting lists. In addition, tenants receive support from the agency including budgeting advice, financial planning and employability assistance.
Homes for Good Investments has secured a £2 million loan from ethical bank Charity Bank, which matches a £2 million investment from Impact Ventures UK, a social impact fund managed by LGT Impact Ventures, to buy 80 properties over the next two years.
Government statistics in 2013 showed there were 185,000 individuals on social housing lists across Scotland and this is anticipated to deteriorate further as the population is forecast to grow. The lack of suitable affordable accommodation is a significant contributing factor to homelessness.
Homes for Good founder and social entrepreneur Susan Aktemel, says: “We have to address the chronic shortage of homes in Scotland and the team at Homes for Good is passionate about the impact homes have on people’s lives. It is so important to have partners that understand what we’re trying to achieve and that are willing to get behind us and our backers Charity Bank and Impact Ventures UK are committed to helping us deliver on our vision.”
John Barnett, Charity Bank’s lending manager responsible for Scotland, says: “Charity Bank is fully supportive of Homes for Good’s belief that everyone should have access to quality affordable accommodation, which is the bedrock of a healthy prosperous life. The loan from Charity Bank will enable them to offer affordable housing through the use of the private rented sector which is currently largely inaccessible to tenants on housing benefits and in low-income employment due to barriers and biases. The Homes for Good social business model, the first of its kind in Scotland, has huge potential to be rolled out across the country to help tackle homelessness and social housing waiting lists in the UK.”
Chris Hunter, investment manager at Impact Ventures UK, says: “We’re working in partnership with Charity Bank to help Homes for Good meet the growing need for social housing and, ultimately, in the future we’d like to see its model replicated in other areas of the UK.”
Charity Bank offers loans to charities and other organisations that have a social purpose using the money that its savers entrust to it. It provides loans to help organisations buy property, develop social housing or community facilities, or to fund social projects. When an organisation pays back its loan, the money is used to lend to another organisation working to benefit society.