A number of investors including, Big Society Capital, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme have backed a fund managed by UK social housing investment manager Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC).

SASC said it has raised an initial £35m (€35m) for Social and Sustainable Housing II (SASH II), a newly launched fund seeking to raise £125m.

SASC said SASH II’s first-close investors also include Scottish National Investment Bank, Ceniarth, and Ogelsby Charitable Trust, adding that it is already working towards a second close that is expected to include both new and existing SASH investors.

The Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme said it has committed £2m to SASH II. Details of the other investors’ contributions are currently unknown.

Vanessa Morphet, the head of the Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme, said: “Our investment in SASH II will support social housing charities to own their properties, enabling them to provide the right combination of safe and stable accommodation and support services to vulnerable people, and to invest in the sustainability and energy efficiency of those properties over time.

”There is a clear alignment with the mission and social and environmental goals of the Church’s Programme.”

SASH II, SASC’s second housing fund will enable the manager to continue providing loans to social landlords by helping over 30 organisations purchase 1,000 properties. 

The first fund, launched in 2019, allocated £64.5m to 20 organisations, SASC said.

Ben Rick, Co-Founder and CEO of SASC said: “SASH was co-designed with social landlords and is an investment structure that has significant appeal to both borrowers and investors.

”We are delighted at the success of the first fund, and the pipeline of opportunities that has driven the launch of fund two.”

Susan Campbell, investment director at Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “The bank’s cornerstone investment in SASH II aligns with our mission to invest in places and regeneration, to reduce inequalities and improve outcomes for people and communities.

“Several Scottish social sector housing organisations have already benefitted from social investment from SASH, and this follow-on fund will enable more organisations across Scotland to provide housing for greater numbers of people who need support.”

Stephen Muers, CEO at Big Society Capital said, “We have invested in SASC funds since 2014 and our support for SASH II underlines their role as a leading manager in the social investment sector. We invest into structure like these because they can offer investors the opportunity to create attractive risk-adjusted returns in an inflationary environment, a clear path to exit, and lasting impact.”

Zamo Capital, an organisation that invests in and alongside general partners, made its first investment in SASC in 2020.

Jim Roth, founder and managing partner of Zamo Capital said, “We identified an opportunity to invest in SASC so they could build out their lending structure for social housing.

”The launch of the second fund in the series demonstrates how much has been accomplished. We look forward to providing the additional support that allows them to build on this success in the coming years.”

Shaun Needham, CEO of Target Housing, one of SASH’s largest borrowers, said: “Owning gives total flexibility and Target has grown far more resilient as a result. We are able to deal with issues on a much bigger scale than ever before as the loan allows us to expand our housing provision.”

To read the latest edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.