Golden Lane Housing has been awarded £349,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, to develop an innovative new social investment bond which will raise up to £30m to invest in permanent homes for people with a learning disability.
The bond will offer a commercially viable property investment with a direct social impact, funding housing for up to 250 people with a learning disability. The charity hopes it will create a new model for social investment within the charity and housing sectors.
GLH is a national charity specialising in housing people with learning disabilities. As the housing arm of the national charity Mencap, Golden Lane Housing receives hundreds of enquires from people with a learning disability unable to access suitable housing.
People with a learning disability are often some of the most marginalised people in society and have the most difficulty accessing suitable social or private rented housing.
A national shortage of social housing, means many people with a learning disability struggle to find housing that meets their needs and are often offered housing that would mean them having to move away from friends and family, putting a greater burden on cash strapped local authorities to provide formal paid support and in some cases putting people at risk of bullying and harassment.
Golden Lane Housing will invest the £30 million in purchasing or building new properties that hundreds of people with a learning disability can rent, providing long term housing people can build their lives around and both a financial and social return for investors.
Alastair Graham Director of Golden Lane Housing says:
“People with a disability struggle to compete on the open market and can even be openly discriminated against, making it virtually impossible to find housing in some areas where social housing isn’t available.”
“This innovative approach to financing housing will allow Golden Lane Housing to meet the growing need for supported living housing for people with a learning disability, transforming the lives of people who may otherwise be forced to become homeless, move away from areas they know or to live in unsuitable residential or institutional care homes.”
The announcement of seed funding of £349,000 under the ‘Next Steps: Supporting Social Investment in England’ programme of the Big Lottery Fund will allow the Bond offering to be fully developed by Golden Lane Housing prior to market launch in 2013.
Funding awarded by the Big Lottery Fund will be used to develop and launch a property investment bond that will attract around £100 of private finance investment for every £1 from the Big Lottery Fund has contributed.