Real Lettings Property Fund | Big Society Capital

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Real Lettings Property Fund

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Residential property fund to buy and lease properties to Real Lettings, the lettings arm of homeless charity St Mungo’s. They help people at risk of homelessness to become more independent by linking stable housing to positive development in other parts of their life.

Social impact

The Real Lettings Property Fund has been developed by Resonance and is managed in association with social lettings agent Real Lettings, part of the London-based charity St Mungo’s. The Fund sources appropriate properties for the specialist Real Lettings Property Fund team, which houses those who would otherwise have no viable access to quality, private sector accommodation. The Real Lettings team also provides personalised coaching and support for tenants to prepare them for a successful and planned move into independent accommodation. The Fund provides homes for rent in Greater London, targeting tenants who are vulnerable to homelessness but who are not supported by existing social housing programmes.

The benefits to tenants are measured in terms of improving their housing options (including eventually moving on to other stable accommodation), achieving progress towards work, and developing greater resilience against reverting to homelessness. In addition to these direct impacts, the fund is also freeing up specialist hostel places for the rising number of rough sleepers on London’s streets and reducing the number of families placed into expensive and often unsuitable temporary and emergency accommodation.

Financial rationale 

The fund is structured as a Limited Partnership which invests in one and two bedroom properties across London, with income generated from rent by letting the houses out to Real Lettings. The rent level is set at Local Housing Allowance rate.

Market development

The Real Lettings Property Fund aims to prove a scalable investment vehicle for those wishing to invest in the London real estate market, whilst generating significant social impact for individuals who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Real Lettings achieves impact by moving homeless people into properties, supporting them as they make the transition, and then seeing them move on to other stable homes. Resonance is now seeking to prove this impact model and has recently launched the National Homelessness Property Fund with an investment of £30 million (£15 million from three local authorities and £15 million from Big Society Capital).  They are looking to grow the Fund to £60 million and take it to other cities across the UK.

Beyond the social impact created, this property backed investment model has attracted a diverse group of investors into the Fund and the social investment sector more broadly.

Investment details

  • Total fund size: £56.8 million
  • Big Society Capital investment: £15 million
  • Co-investors: L&Q, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Lankelly Chase, City Bridge Trust, Croydon Council, Trust for London, Panahpur and a number of high net worth individuals.
  • Key partners: St Mungo's and Resonance 
     
Last updated | 
20 January 2016