Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) has doubled its investment in a homelessness property fund set up by UK social impact investment firm Resonance.

Resonance said GMPF has made a second £10m (€11.5m) investment into National Homelessness Property Fund 2 (NHPF2) following the pension fund’s initial seed investment during the fund’s launch in December 2020.

The capital from GMPF investment will enable NHPF2 to acquire additional homes in the Greater Manchester region for people facing housing crisis – including those experiencing rough sleeping in the region.

NHPF2, which has so far raised £65m, plans to raise £300m from institutional impact investors such as pension funds and local authorities as it aims to expand across the UK.

In Greater Manchester, the fund has a leasing partnership with Let Us, a group of five registered and ethical housing providers.

John Williams, managing director of property funds at Resonance, said: “It is fantastic news that Greater Manchester Pension Fund has chosen to invest for a second time into National Homelessness Property Fund 2 and is recognition of the desire of pension funds to invest for good and to have a positive impact on the communities within which they operate.

“This additional investment means that the fund will be able to make a real difference to the lives of people currently experiencing homelessness in the region, including many people sleeping rough. And it will enable it to realise its overall ambitions to provide around 1,500 decent and stable homes - and the potential for people to rebuild their lives - for thousands of individuals and families over its lifetime.

“And whilst this investment will support GMPF’s ambitions for place-based economic growth, this fund is also providing opportunities for other institutional investors to support their place-based ambitions in providing solutions to local housing needs.“

Councilor Ged Cooney, chair of Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said: “Our impact portfolio seeks to invest locally and create a positive impact, alongside generating a commercial return. I am proud that the Greater Manchester Pension Fund is continuing its support for National Homelessness Property Fund 2 - and its effort to tackle the local housing issues in Greater Manchester - by investing an additional £10m into the fund.

“Aiming to deliver a competitive risk-adjusted return to ensure we meet future pension obligations, as well as delivering measurable and positive social change in the Greater Manchester area, NHPF2 is providing a sustainable and place-based solution for economic growth in the region and beyond. I look forward to seeing the fund scale up its efforts to house more local people at risk of and experiencing homelessness.”

Sue Sutton, CEO of Salix Homes, and chair of the Let Us Project board, said: “We’re delighted that Resonance have secured a second round of funding from the Greater Manchester Pension Fund into the National Homelessness Property Fund 2. The homes Resonance acquire with this fund, and lease to Let Us, make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“In times of national crisis, inflation and a rising cost of living can impact the lives of people in already precarious housing situations the most. The additional funding from GMPF will enable Let Us and Resonance to work together to offer even more households high-quality, long-term, affordable rented housing, at a time when it is needed the most.”

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