London boroughs back local homelessness fund
Two London boroughs have invested £15m each into a fund which buys homes in Greater London for people affected by homelessness.
The Real Lettings Property Fund 2 (RLPF2), managed by social impact investment company Resonance and homelessness charity St Mungo’s, has received the investments from the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Westminster.
Resonance said both Westminster and Lambeth have invested into the London property funds before.
Launched in January 2017, the RLPF2 fund follows the original RLPF fund which enables local authorities to nominate individuals or households in Greater London, who will receive support from Real Lettings, the social lettings agency run by St Mungo’s, to help them maintain their tenancies and move towards employment, stability and independence.
There is a third fund, the National Homelessness Property Fund, which purchases homes elsewhere across the UK.
With this latest investment, the Resonance homelessness funds under management have now grown to more than £190m providing almost 789 homes nationwide.
Councillor Andrew Smith, a cabinet member for housing and customer services at Westminster City Council, said: “This funding guarantees a supply of high-quality family housing, supported by St Mungo’s, for those who otherwise would have been in temporary accommodation for many years.
“The homes purchased with the funding are an excellent, and important, alternative for those having long waits for social housing. We recognise homelessness can result from a variety of complex circumstances such as family breakdown, domestic violence or loss of private sector tenancies, and a variety of housing solutions for homeless households are needed in Westminster.”
Councillor Paul Gadsby, a cabinet member for housing at Lambeth, said: “Housing homeless families in the borough is becoming ever harder because of rising demand. At Lambeth council, we are determined to do what we can to tackle the local impacts of this London wide issue.
“This is why as part of that commitment we are investing a further £15m in the Real Lettings Property Fund. Our initial investment in the fund was successful in securing high-quality homes for homeless families.”
John Williams, an investment director and head of property funds at Resonance, said: “We are always delighted and encouraged when we have returning investors, as we feel it is a great endorsement that this model is working well for both tenants and investors.”
Susan Fallis from St Mungo’s said: “The RLPF2 is addressing the very high cost, both financial and social, of rented accommodation in London. It is helping people stay within their local support networks, keeping their children in school and assisting them to move to securing longer-term tenancies.
”This much-welcomed further investment from Lambeth and Westminster will allow us to extend that impact to even more people who are vulnerable to homelessness.”