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Social enterprise invests £3m into homeless charity

The fund manager and social enterprise, Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC), has invested £3m from its Social and Sustainable Housing (SASH) fund into Target Housing, a charity that supports homeless people in Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham.

Target Housing was established in 1990 and provides accommodation and support to vulnerable and homeless people who have difficulties sustaining a tenancy. This includes people with complex needs, offenders, those at risk of offending, asylum seekers and people with mental health problems.

The charity manages around 450 properties and owns 31. It recently re-won two contracts in Sheffield and in Doncaster to house homeless people, ex-offenders and people with complex needs and the investment from SASH will be used to purchase a further 30 two-bed and one-bed properties enabling the charity to fulfil these contracts.

This is SASC’s sixth investment from its ground-breaking SASH fund, which has so far deployed £17m since it was launched in May 2019. SASH offers a unique new financial product that is neither a mortgage nor a lease but offers an alternative for social sector organisations to buy their own properties. It was co-designed with borrower charities whose work with vulnerable people was being hampered through lack of access to safe, stable and appropriate homes.

SASH offers loans between £2m and £5m. The fund has received considerable support, which continues to grow. It launched with over £26.5m of commitments from 19 investors, with target fundraising set at £100m. This will enable SASC to put 1,000 houses in the hands of the third sector and house 10,000 vulnerable people over the next 10 years.

Shaun Needham, CEO at Target Housing said: ‘This is the first time we’ve taken on social investment and we’re excited for what we will achieve. Through SASH, we have had a large injection of capital to purchase better quality houses more quickly than through other funding methods. This will secure our future and ensure we can continue helping people in need.

‘Like all charities over the past ten years our funding streams have reduced while demand for our services has grown. Thanks to SASC we will have a bigger portfolio of homes in areas chosen by us, so we can continue delivering our services to vulnerable people.

‘We would highly recommend SASC to other housing charities. Taking on social investment was a huge learning curve for us, but the team at SASC has guided and supported us every step of the way, giving us confidence that we are doing the right thing.’

Last month, New Start visited Roundabout, a charity tackling youth homelessness in Sheffield.

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