Impact Ventures UK targets social housing with third investment

2nd September 2014

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London, 2nd September, 2014 Award-winning social impact fund Impact Ventures UK (IVUK) has earmarked £2 million for investment in a unique joint venture with Glasgow based social enterprise Homes for Good (Scotland) CIC, which will create a portfolio of newly refurbished properties dedicated for people in social housing need across the Greater Glasgow region.

Established by award-winning, renowned social entrepreneur Susan Aktemel in February 2013, Homes for Good is Scotland’s first lettings agency to specialise in supporting low-income tenants. IVUK’s investment will enable the company to develop the next phase of its strategy and become the first socially-focused landlord in the private rental space.

Susan Aktemel, Founder and Director of Homes for Good, said, “There were around 185,000 households on social housing waiting lists in Scotland last year. This chronic lack of social housing supply, combined with a reluctance from many private rented sector landlords and agencies to work with people on low incomes or benefits is a critical problem we want to address – this is why Homes for Good was created.”

“I am delighted to be collaborating so closely with the IVUK team and to have substantial financial backing from the fund. Our model combines putting tenants’ needs at the centre of our business whilst at the same time protecting landlords’ interests and generating financial return. We are absolutely committed to creating a scalable business that leads to a measureable improvement in the lives of socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and their families, and which creates innovative solutions to the acute housing situation in the UK.”

Homes for Good’s basic concept is that a safe, secure home is the foundation everyone needs for their lives to improve, whatever their circumstances. It aims to be the first private sector landlord and lettings agency in Scotland to successfully demonstrate that when given a quality home and appropriate support, people who have previously experienced poor housing and disadvantage can flourish.

Richard Brass, Head of UK Clients at Berenberg Private Banking and Founder of Impact Ventures UK, said, “Homes for Good provides investors in IVUK with the opportunity to back an innovative and scalable business model, and an incredibly talented entrepreneur with a formidable track record and clarity of purpose. Susan, herself, also has 14 years’ experience as a private sector landlord and has first-hand knowledge of the challenges that landlords and social tenants face when trying to work with each other. Each company that IVUK backs demonstrates the opportunities for social investment, and also highlights entrepreneurs nationwide who are dedicated to creating and running businesses that have the potential to create measureable improvements in the lives of individuals in the UK.”

Raf Goovaerts, Partner and Head of the UK investment team at LGT Venture Philanthropy, said, “We are excited to support Homes for Good, both financially and through IVUK’s significant networking and collaborative opportunities, as the company evolves to tackle the issue of housing supply in Glasgow at an ever deeper level. Over the life of the investment, we anticipate that Homes for Good will create a positive impact on 500-600 social tenants. The company serves a tangible social purpose and has a highly scalable business model which also presents opportunities to work with social enterprise contractors throughout the supply chain. We believe the combination of Homes for Good and Susan Aktemel is a winning formula with potential to be replicated nationally, ultimately amplifying the opportunity for social impact around the UK.”

IVUK was launched by LGT Venture Philanthropy in association with Berenberg in December 2013 with a first close of £20.8 million including a £10 million cornerstone investment from social investment bank Big Society Capital. IVUK’s diverse investor base includes UK and European institutional investors, asset owners and private clients, reflecting the appeal of the fund across different sources of capital. It is one of the first social impact funds to attract investment from a UK local authority pension fund. IVUK invests in enterprises that create strong, positive social impact for disadvantaged people and communities in the UK as well as generating a financial return. Homes for Good is IVUK’s third investment to date.

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