Social enterprise bags £2.4m to roll out model UK-wide

A Glasgow social enterprise has landed £2.4 million to roll out its property-management model for vulnerable tenants across the UK.

The property manager is to boost its support for vulnerable tenants with lottery funding. Picture: contributed.
The property manager is to boost its support for vulnerable tenants with lottery funding. Picture: contributed.

Homes for Good, which specialises in supporting people with limited housing choices including those who are homeless, receive benefits or are on low incomes, has been awarded the multi-million-pound sum from The National Lottery Community Fund.

The cash boost will enable the social enterprise to expand and enhance its offering and help other UK organisations to develop a similar model, which was co-produced with tenants who have direct experience of insecure and low-quality rental housing.

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Homes for Good provides services ranging from help with benefits claims, financial management and cooking, to applying for education and securing mental health support.

The organisation has previously raised around £12m of investment to create its own portfolio of high-quality homes for people in housing need and is currently expanding its in-house repairs and maintenance business.

Founded in 2013 by social entrepreneur Susan Aktemel, the group now manages around 500 properties and works with 130 landlords and 800 tenants in and around Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

Its partner agencies include Ypeople, Simon Community, Glasgow City Mission and the Wise Group.

Aktemel created the organisation based on her experience as a customer of private rental agencies and the knowledge of the barriers vulnerable and low-income tenants face.

She said: “We realise a safe, secure home is fundamental to people’s lives and are delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the wider potential of our approach, which focuses on creating high-quality, affordable homes for tenants and sound investments for landlords – a win-win situation.”

Programme director Karen Leigh Anderson added: “We aim to work in partnership with a number of other organisations across the UK to replicate our tried-and-tested social letting and tenancy support model.

“The National Lottery funding will enable us to share our learning and provide ongoing support, including hosting study visits, coaching and mentoring.”

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John Knights, senior head of UK portfolio at The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest funder of community activity in the UK, said: “Homes for Good has developed a successful model to support vulnerable tenants across Scotland based on the insights of those tenants’ lived experience and by putting people in the lead.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, more people who are in need of a home across the UK will be able to access quality, secure housing.”