Private equity real estate firm Henley has launched its first fund and is seeking to invest £400m (€443m) in the UK’s supported-housing sector.

Henley, founded in 2006 by CEO Ian Rickwood, said its Henley Secure Income Property Unit Trust (SIPUT) had held its first close and carried out its first acquisition.

“The launch of Henley SIPUT marks Henley’s first fully-discretionary fund,” said Rickwood.

The fund aims to deliver consistent income returns of more than 5% over a 25-year life by focusing on the “underserved” supported-housing sector.

It will provide long-term homes for vulnerable adults, acquiring assets on long-term leases to HCA registered providers with assured shorthand tenancies (ASTs) in place.

Rickwood said: “With growing demand in the supported living sector, there is a significant need and market opportunity, matched with increasing institutional interest in the space.

“We offer these institutional investors access to long-term, inflation-linked, secure and sustainable returns, as well as providing much needed homes for vulnerable adults, making a positive difference to people and communities.”

Henley is seeking to raise £400m within the next six months and has made its first investment, the purchase of a portfolio of supported-living properties, for close to £70m.

The investment gives the fund a freehold interest in 49 properties across the UK, all let on long-term, inflation-linked leases to HCA-backed registered providers.

The properties, which were sourced off-market by Henley, are already generating income.

Henley said it had worked with local authorities and the National Health Service since 2012 to identify sector requirements and commission supported housing schemes let to registered providers.

Over the past four years, the company made £250m worth of transactions through its healthcare platform.