New social impact fund attracts £45m initial investment

Written by Matt Ritchie

The Real Lettings Property Fund 2 has launched with initial investment of £45m, aiming to deliver financial returns to investors and focused social impact in homelessness.

A partnership between social impact investment company Resonance and homelessness charity St Mungo’s, the first close of the fund has attracted investment from the London local authorities of Croydon, Lambeth, and Westminster.

RLPF2 will buy homes to let to St Mungo’s to house homeless individuals and families across London. Properties are managed by Real Lettings, a social lettings agency set up by St Mungo's.

The new fund follows the first Real Lettings Property Fund, which launched in 2013 and achieved a final close of almost £57m in April 2015.

The partners last year launched the National Homelessness Property Fund to take the social impact investment approach to other cities around the country.

Oxford, Bristol and Milton Keynes local authorities were all founder investors in the National Homelessness Property Fund. The partners say discussions with other local authorities around the country are nearing completion.

Real Lettings director Susan Fallis said the first fund has been a great success in helping grow this social enterprise model.

“The keys to that success are Resonance’s proven ability to source properties that are suitable for our tenants, at a price that makes sense from an investment perspective, and the close operational partnership which we have been able to build with our tenants to provide them with housing for up to three years so they can build up tenancy histories that enable them to move on further into more long term accommodation.”

John Williams, senior investment manager at Resonance, said the original fund was the first of its kind to see a local authority working with a social investment solution. The partners are now looking to replicate and scale the model to achieve greater impact.

“These funds are sensible financial investments at a scale which institutional investors can engage with and the impact model is measurable and working,” Williams said. “This second fund will help thousands of formerly homeless tenants on a path to secure independent living in the future."

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