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How to help homelessness with your investments

With deaths amongst the homeless reportedly rising by 80% over the last two years, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced a new strategy and funding to tackle homelessness.

Current plan “wholly inadequate”

14,000 emergency beds, 3,000 support staff and 2,400 longer term supported homes have been promised, but onlookers such as Shelter called the plan “wholly inadequate”.

Equally, with an on-going cost of living crisis, pandemic debt, economic uncertainty and a ‘no new taxes’ mantra, it looks unlikely that Lizz Truss or the DLUHC are going to be able to magic up the funds required to meet their pledge of ‘ending homelessness’ any time soon.

Can impact investing ‘plug the funding gap’?

However, there is evidence that alternative forms of private investment aimed at tackling social issues, often labelled ‘impact investing’, may at least in part, plug the gap that exists between funding and supported housing needs to combat homelessness.

Investors on our property platform recently funded the purchase of a 5 bedroomed house to lease back to a small charity GROW (Group for the Rootless of Watford) – trying to tackle homelessness in Watford.

Small charities can work with private investors

David Campbell of the charity explains why they turned to private investment:

“As a small not for profit organisation, we don’t have the funds to purchase accommodation required to meet the demand for housing, and it’s very difficult for us to get a mortgage.

The pandemic hit us hard. We were having to shield homeless men with limited resources, reduced bed spaces and income. This ultimately culminated in us having to draw down on our reserves which took a big hit. I’m not sure how we would have been able to get out of that situation, never mind grow, without the help of Assetz Exchange investors. I strongly believe small charities can work with private investors to assist those in need.  We have to continually innovate and find different solutions to help the homeless.

GROW was founded by local churches, volunteers, social workers and probation officers 40 years ago. GROW charity adopts a holistic and longer-term approach to helping men get off the streets permanently. We are prepared for setbacks and are here to help men with complex needs, substance issues or anti-social behaviour which might otherwise get them evicted from temporary accommodation and returned to street homelessness.”

Offering stability and support

GROW provides supported accommodation for individuals who have a history of homelessness. The support is tailored, holistic and offers stability for them to progress into independent accommodation. GROW has a 90%+ success rate for resettled individuals maintaining their independent accommodation with ongoing support.

GROW was forced to reduce its bed spaces to 17 during the pandemic. By funding the purchase of a 5 bedroomed house and leasing it back to the charity, Assetz Exchange investors have enabled GROW, to resume its capacity back up to 22. This has made an immediate difference to homeless men in the area.

The kitchen at the Assetz Exchange funded property

Investing is not a charity donation

But this hasn’t been a charity donation on their part as investors are earning an average yield of 5.3%* in monthly income from their investment, which is also linked to inflation and has the opportunity for capital growth.

It’s these investment qualities that make the partnership work:

“When I was made aware of Assetz Exchange, it seemed like the ideal match. We now have longer term security, on 10-year leases, and investors are provided with a longer-term source of income. I felt we were able to find common ground working with both Peter and James at Assetz Exchange.” David commented.

And he hopes that the partnership can continue to support the charity’s growth:

“I’d ideally like to increase GROW’s portfolio by adding a variety of properties to accommodate more of the homeless community.

With the current cost of living crisis, male homelessness is only going to get worse. The starting point is often people losing jobs, relationships breaking down and deteriorating mental health. Men tend to have less obvious support options to turn to and often don’t admit problems before it’s too late. We’re keen to look to Assetz Exchange investors to help fund new properties sooner rather than later.”

To invest in the Brixton Road property and support charities tackling homeless, click here to register on our platform or email us at info@assetzexchange.co.uk

*average yield at launch, 6th September 2022. Yield is annual income net of costs as a percentage of the current property gross price as of 06/09/2022. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Investment through Assetz Exchange is an investment in peer-to-peer loans and is not a direct property investment or a savings account. Your investment is not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Your capital is at risk.



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