High-end social housing provider nets £3m investment

A “ground-breaking” Scottish social business group that provides high-end social housing has secured £3 million from the social investment arm of The Big Issue.

Susan Aktemel deems the latest funding boost 'significant'. Picture: Sandy Young Photography.

Homes for Good (HFG) says it provides a solution to the lack of affordable, quality housing to people with limited choice in and around Glasgow. It intends to double its portfolio and expand its model to other parts of the UK, with plans to raise £20m in coming years.

The organisation said that since it was founded in 2013, it has attracted backing of more than £12m from the likes of Big Society Capital, Charity Bank and Social and Sustainable Capital.

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The latest cash injection, from Big Issue Invest (BII), has enabled early-stage investor Impact Ventures UK to successfully exit three years early. BII made the most recent equity and debt investment of just over £3m from its Social Enterprise Investment Fund II.

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HFG also says it bridges the gap in affordable housing between the social and private rented sectors. Its investment arm buys dilapidated properties, almost 250 since 2014, which are then done up. HFG then lets these homes to people in housing need, or to partner organisations working with people with more acute requirements.

Susan Aktemel, executive director of HFG, said: “This significant deal clearly shows that it is entirely possible to make strong financial returns from social investment whilst putting money to good use to change people’s lives for the better.”

She also said the investment by BII “has created a strong foundation for our future growth, and paves the way for further investment, as we embark on a £20m raise in the coming years to deliver our vision of creating high-quality, affordable homes for those who may otherwise struggle to access them”.

She added: “We look forward to working with new investors as we grow [HFG] and extend our reach further over the coming years.”

Danyal Sattar, chief executive of BII, said: “We are delighted to support such a brilliant social enterprise as Homes for Good, with values that align so closely with ours. This is our largest investment out of our Big Issue Invest Social Enterprise Fund II and shows the kind of backing we can give to our partners. We like to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial organisations and that is what we find in [HFG].”

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