In previous times, housing organisations have been able to secure grants from local authorities or health authorities to support the provision of community-based housing for people with a learning disability.
It was also possible to get commercial loans on reasonable terms to add to those grants. But in the last few years, the grants have all but dried up and loans are much harder to get on acceptable terms.
Only 16% of people with a learning disability live in supported housing in the community. Most live in institutions, often large and remote from their families, or they live with parents who may be getting elderly and struggling to cope.
With thanks to investors, Golden Lane Housing’s Social Investment Bond raised £10m in an oversubscribed offering in June 2013. The capital raised has enabled us to buy homes for 99 people with a learning disability in 27 specially adapted quality houses and bungalows across England and Wales.
Rathbone Brothers Plc and The Nationwide Foundation are two of the investors who kindly invested in the bond.
Bryn Jones, Head of Fixed Income, Rathbone Brothers Plc explains,“Rathbone Ethical Bond Fund, a recent winner of the Morningstar Corporate Bond Fund 2014 and a testament that ethical returns and strong performance are not a dichotomy, continues to seek for strong positive social investments. The Rathbone Ethical Bond Fund is at the forefront in providing capital to the charity bond market. By way of example, we chose Golden Lane Housing as it is a financially sound organisation and has a good track record with their previous 2003 Social Investment Bond which was redeemed in April 2013. The bond has a great social impact and the capital raised has provided the much needed specially adapted homes for people with a learning disability in a location of their choice.
We visit all our investments we make that have a strong social return so we can see the positive difference our capital is making to the lives of others, and we are looking forward to our visit later this year. The value we attach to this is unquantifiable and runs deep to the soul of our investment philosophy.”
Leigh Pearce, Interim Chief Executive, The Nationwide Foundation explains,“We chose to invest in the 2013 Social Investment Bond because of its fit with our Decent, Affordable Homes funding strategy that aims to create homes for people in housing need. Suitable homes for people with a learning disability are scarce and the capital from the Bond is used to buy homes in the areas where people want to live and adapt them to make them just right for each individual. Golden Lane Housing’s track record of delivering a similar Bond in 2003 gave us confidence in the financial model that offers us a return on our investment as well as the significant social impact of creating positive changes in people’s lives.”