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SASC launches second fund to support charities and social enterprises that house disadvantaged people

After the success of its first housing fund, Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) is launching a second offering that will continue to support social sector organisations to provide safe, stable and appropriate homes for vulnerable people and their families in the UK.

The award winning Social and Sustainable Housing (SASH) fund was co-designed with the social sector and launched in 2019.  Having already raised and allocated £64.5m to frontline housing organisations, SASH II opens with almost £35m and is expected to go on to raise £125m.

The fund has attracted investors, including Big Society Capital, Scottish National Investment Bank, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme, Ceniarth, and Ogelsby Charitable Trust.

SASH II provides flexible finance to ambitious organisations who are delivering vital services to disadvantaged people and families in their communities, including the homeless, individuals and families fleeing domestic violence, asylum seekers, young people, and people with addiction or mental health issues.

Ben Rick, Co-Founder and CEO of SASC said, “We support social sector organisations to expand their owned property portfolio, allowing them to deliver additional, high-quality housing alongside the kind of support that helps individuals move back to independent living.

“By working with frontline delivery organisations, we support the transfer of ownership of housing into the social sector on a permanent basis.”

The SASH structure was co-designed with social organisations.  Working with Hull Women’s Network, a domestic abuse charity, in 2017 enabled SASC to understand the features of conventional financing that were restricting the ambitions of high performing social sector organisations.

Lisa Hilder trustee of Hull Women’s Network said, “We were able to work with SASC to design something truly unique in the social investment market – a product that shared risk in a completely new way with an investor.  The two loans we have since had from SASC have been a key part of our development journey. We have been able to take control of housing and deliver improved social outcomes as a result.  We are delighted that SASC have been able to raise additional funds to make this financing available to others facing the same problem.”

To date, the SASH fund has invested in 18 high performing organisations across the UK and approved loans to a further four. SASC is already in conversations with new organisations interested in investment and expects, through the new fund, to be able to support over 30 best in class charitable organisations.

One organisation that has already increased the size of their SASH loan is Peter Bedford Housing Association. It has been delivering social and practical support as well as employment and training services to tenants in Hackney and Islington in London for over fifty years.

Clare Norton, CEO of Peter Bedford, said, “We hadn’t expanded our housing portfolio for almost 20 years and were looking for ways to grow as we’d identified some neighbouring boroughs that had really high homelessness needs. Working with SASC was such a  positive experience. The funding helped us to become a “Investment Partner” with the Greater London Authority (GLA), and this will offer future avenues for investment.

“Social investment has given Peter Bedford the opportunity for a strong future. To be able to look back on the process and see all the development you weren’t expecting is so encouraging. We expect the financial resilience and the upskilling of the team will support us for the next 25 years at least.”

In SASC’s 2021 borrower survey, 95% of borrowers said they would recommend SASC to other organisations. Reasons given include the flexibility of the product, their partnership approach and supportive working practice, plus the fact that a SASC loan allows them to do things that they couldn’t find support for elsewhere.

For more information on the SASH fund visit: https://www.socialandsustainable.com/social-and-sustainable-housing/

For more information on SASC visit: www.socialandsustainable.com