Greater Manchester set to benefit from new supported housing fund

Resonance Supported Homes Fund 1

The social impact investment business Resonance has launched its new Supported Homes Fund to purchase and prepare supported housing in Greater Manchester.

The Fund, which sees Resonance partner with the learning disability housing association Reside Housing Association and the charity United Response, aims to provide a solution to the shortage of affordable, suitable and specialist housing for people with disabilities, autism, and mental health needs.

Research by the learning disability charity Mencap in 2016 found that 82% of local authorities said they had a shortage of suitable housing for adults with a learning disability.

The Fund was first announced back in June as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority invested £5 million into it from its Greater Manchester Housing Investment Loans Fund.

Big Society Capital and the Barrow Cadbury Trust have invested £5 million and £250,000 into the Fund respectively, bringing total initial investment in the Fund to over £10 million.

Resonance’s chief investment officer Simon Chisholm said: “We are delighted to launch the Resonance Supported Homes Fund after significant work co-designing a new approach to this issue suitable for both social enterprises and investors.

“The initial investments from Big Society Capital, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Barrow Cadbury will enable us to attract like-minded investors into the Fund so that we can purchase even more homes for people with learning disability, autism or mental health problems currently still living in inappropriate accommodation.

“Living in the right home will help make a real difference to their lives, enabling them to live with choice and independence in their local communities, close to their families.”

The Fund will buy, refurbish, and adapt or potentially build residential properties especially for people with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health needs, with half the funding raised to date set to be invested in Greater Manchester and the rest in homes in other targeted regions.

The properties will be leased to specialist housing providers and charity partners who will rent them to individuals, helping them manage their tenancies and providing them with specialist support to live independently.

The impact-led Fund aims to reduce risks for its partners by providing leases with reasonable rent levels, appropriate break clauses, and fair rental uplift. Income will be generated through rent and capital appreciation when the properties are sold.

The long-term aim is to roll the Fund out nationwide to scale up the provision of good care and housing for communities across the UK.

Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor and Greater Manchester lead for housing, homelessness and infrastructure, said: “It’s great news that the Greater Manchester Housing Investment Loans Fund is being used in this way to deliver on our commitments in Greater Manchester’s Housing Strategy and through collaboration with our Health and Social Care Partnership, housing associations and partners across the city-region.

“The £5 million investment from the Housing Investment Loans Fund will help to provide more specialist and supported housing within Greater Manchester, supporting our residents to lead fulfilled lives where they can achieve their full potential.”

Image: Resonance has launched its new Supported Homes Fund to provide supported housing for people with disabilities, autism, and mental health needs. Credit: Resonance.

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