December 05, 2019

World’s first gender-lens property fund by Resonance and Patron Capital


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  • Social impact investment company Resonance and leading property investor Patron Capital collaborate to create and manage new social impact fund with a target fund size of £100 million
  • Big Society Capital, the UK’s leading social impact investor developed the initial fund proposal, and has agreed in principal, a commitment of £10 million
  • First partner is Preston Road Women’s Centre
  • Further investors and women’s sector and homelessness charity partners being sought

The Women In Safe Homes (WISH) Fund, believed to be the world’s first gender-lens property fund, is being created as a solution to the lack of affordable, safe and secure homes for women who are experiencing homelessness, are ex-offenders, survivors of domestic abuse or have other complex needs.

Alongside the potential of a financial return for investors from rent and capital appreciation, the Fund has a strong focus on achieving substantial positive social impact by supporting women in challenging circumstances. This will be achieved by providing them with housing and access to the support networks needed to help them rebuild their lives by partnering with women’s sector charities.

Domestic abuse is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women and children. In England and Wales alone, 1.3 million women experienced domestic abuse in 2017-18¹. And Women’s Aid² reports that 60% of women being referred to specialist refuges are being turned away, mainly due to lack of space. Housing and mental health are also intrinsically linked. Being homeless can make mental health issues worse and in turn, poor mental health can make it harder to cope with issues around housing. Mental health charity MIND³ reports that 79% of people with mental health problems said that their housing had negatively impacted their mental health and 42% had experienced homelessness in the past. The chronic lack of suitable housing options also results in 60%⁴ of female prisoners not having a home to go to on release.

The Fund aims to provide around 750 affordable homes across the UK and has already formed its first partnership with leading women’s sector charity, Preston Road Women’s Centre in Hull, which will offer safe homes and help other women’s sector organisations to replicate its pioneering recovery model for women and children.

More details here.

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