University of Edinburgh invests further £1m to tackle homelessness

 University of Edinburgh invests further £1 million through Social and Sustainable Capital to enable UK charities and social enterprises to provide homes for service users

The University of Edinburgh has announced further investment of £1 million in a social housing fund. Managed by Social and Sustainable Capital, the SASH II fund loans charities and social enterprises the finance to purchase residential properties, which are then leased to people at risk of homelessness.

The University hopes to build on the success of its previous £1 million investment in the first Social and Sustainable Housing Fund (SASH I), which raised £64.5 million and supported 20 social impact organisations across the UK.

SASH II aims to continue the success of the first fund, helping more organisations to provide decent homes for vulnerable people.

Over £35 million has been committed to date, with The Scottish National Investment Bank investing £15 million for allocation to Scottish organisations.

 

Life-changing impact across Scotland 

The Scottish organisations supported by the SASH I portfolio were Simon Community Scotland, the Positive Steps Partnership and the social enterprise Homes for Good Glasgow.

Using a £5 million loan from SASH I, Simon Community Scotland purchased 15 properties across Edinburgh, providing affordable accommodation for up to 30 vulnerable adults at risk of homelessness.

 

This has been life-changing for Greig, a tenant of the Simon Community Scotland Homes scheme in Edinburgh (pictured above). He said, “Having a new home has changed my life in so much of a great way. I’ve got so much freedom to go out walking, to do my artwork – and I feel it’s helping with my mental health as well.

 

Dundee’s Positive Steps Partnership, is a charity helping ex-offenders and adults suffering drug addiction to transition from prison release to independent living. The £1.8 million investment from SASH I enables the Positive Steps Partnership to purchase 30 properties across Dundee for its service users.

Homes for Good Glasgow is an award-winning social enterprise, using the £3.5 million loan from SASH I to purchase 47 properties in Glasgow and Ayrshire, providing quality rented accommodation for people living with mental health issues, family breakdown and recovery from drug dependency.

 

Investing for social good 

Announced in 2019, the University’s Social Investment Fund has invested £8 million in funds that deliver a social benefit alongside a traditional financial return.

Dave Gorman, Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh said, “As values-driven institutions with commitments to social and civic responsibility, universities can use their finances to address social issues, whilst generating a return on investment. That has been the mission of our Social Investment Fund.   We are delighted to support SASH II, having seen the positive impact that affordable housing can bring to vulnerable people here in our city and across Scotland.

 

Mark Bickford, CEO of Social and Sustainable Capital said, “We are looking forward to building on the success of SASH I with fantastic, people-first organisations – all delivering significant social impact. We’re pleased to receive further investment from the University of Edinburgh, which demonstrates the potential of universities as social impact investors.

 

Alongside the University and the Scottish National Investment Bank, investors in SASH II include Better Society Capital, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme, Ceniarth, and Ogelsby Charitable Trust.

For more information on SASC visit: www.socialandsustainable.com

 

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Lisa Baker is the Editor of Always Finance, and writes about Business, Finance Technology and Healthcare. Lisa is also the owner of Need to See IT Publishing.