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Improving health through investing in homes

We're helping to provide over 300 secure homes to help families lead healthier and more resilient lives.

Tenant from St Mungo's property development

Working with Resonance and St Mungo’s

We believe widening access to stable housing will have a positive and substantial impact on health.

In 2017, we invested £5 million in the Real Lettings Property Fund 2 (RLPF2). The Fund is one of three launched by UK social impact investment firm Resonance, in partnership with homelessness charity St Mungo’s, to provide secure, good quality housing for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

To date, the fund has created 325 good quality homes and provided more than 550 adults and children with secure, good quality homes.

Just knowing that I have a safe, secure home, a backup support network, is very important. I've never had that before.

Paul, St Mungo's tenant

Why invest in housing?

We know where you live matters for your health. There is growing evidence that secure, affordable homes that are in good condition can protect our health and wellbeing, while precarious housing can increase the risk of developing mental and physical health conditions.  

However, according to the National Housing Federation 3.6 million live in overcrowded homes, 1.4 million in poor quality homes and 400,000 are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This includes people sleeping rough, living in homeless shelters, temporary accommodation or sofa-surfing.

Working to create a healthier society requires us to take a wider view of health and we believe the social impact of this investment in secure, good quality homes will be significant.

Our impact through this Fund

325

good quality homes built

550

people housed in secure, good quality homes

£99m

invested by us and others

How it works

Using the money that we and others have invested in the Fund, Resonance purchases and refurbishes properties to a high standard across Greater London. The properties are then handed over to Real Lettings, a social enterprise lettings agency run by St Mungo’s, to provide secure homes for vulnerable people and families. Real Lettings manage the tenancies and support tenants, including working with other partners to help them to access services and become part of local communities.

This approach is unusual because it houses people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in stable, private tenancies without deposits. In an increasingly unaffordable housing market, with long waiting lists for social housing, the initiative reaches people without alternative permanent housing options, who would otherwise be left in unsuitable accommodation such as bed and breakfast, emergency accommodation or hostels.

Living room of a flat refurbished through the fund
Living room of a flat refurbished through the Fund
Kitchen of a flat refurbished through the fund
Kitchen of a flat refurbished through the Fund

What difference is the Fund making?

As of September 2020, we and other investors have invested a total of £99 million in RLPF2, creating a portfolio of 325 good quality homes as a result. Rent from the properties pays St Mungo’s and Resonance and provides a return to the investors.

Here are just some examples of the positive impact the Fund is having:

  • More than 550 adults and children housed in secure, good quality homes
  • More tenants are in work than are unemployed
  • More households are able to move on positively to improved housing opportunities
  • More households with children under five registered with a GP
Anita Bhatia

Want to know more about our impact investing?

Get in touch with our Investment Director, Anita Bhatia.