Housing

Big Issue Invest's £3m backing to boost affordable housing in Glasgow

The Big Issue's social investment arm is investing in Homes for Good to bring homes back into use and make affordable housing more accessible.

Big Issue Invest (BII) is making one of its biggest investments to date to help Scotland’s first social enterprise letting agency make affordable housing more accessible in Glasgow.

The social investment arm of The Big Issue Group is investing £3 million from the Big Issue Invest Social Enterprise Fund II to help Homes for Good (HFG) raise £20m for the management of 1,000 homes and helping other organisations replicate the model across the UK.

HFG provides letting agency services to landlords and flexible tenancy support for the people who live in its 500 homes. The organisation has also refurbished almost 250 dilapidated properties since 2014 before letting them out to people in housing need or to partner organisations supporting people who require intensive support.

Susan Aktemel Homes for Good
Susan Aktemel_Homes for Good credit scottishphotographer.com
Dr Susan Aktemel was named a Big Issue Changemaker in 2019 for being the driving force behind Scotland's first social enterprise letting agency

Big Issue Changemaker and executive director for Homes for Good Social Business Group, Dr Susan Aktemel 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.

“I am really delighted to see BII, a perfect partner for us, become a shareholder and join the Homes for Good family. This has created a strong foundation for our future growth, and paves the way for further investment, as we embark on a £20 million raise in the coming years to deliver our vision of creating high-quality, affordable homes for those who may otherwise struggle to access them.”

BII has continued to invest throughout the Covid-19 to support social enterprises at a time when the need is greatest. Leaders at the social investment organisation said they are excited for both future collaboration opportunities with HFG and, in particular, the groundwork this lays for future funds being developed.

Danyal Sattar, CEO at Big Issue Invest, said:  “We are delighted to support such a brilliant social enterprise as Homes for Good, with values that align so closely with ours. It is especially important that organisations such as Homes for Good are able to continue their excellent work at a time of great uncertainty for those with housing needs.

“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 Homes for Good.”

Homes for Good has attracted backing in excess of £12m to date from Impact Ventures UK, Big Society Capital, Charity Bank and Social and Sustainable Capital.

The BII deal means that early stage investor IVUK is able to successfully exit the project three years ahead of schedule.

Kevin Bone, IVUK partner, said: “As we hand over to BII, it is with great joy and anticipation at the achievements to come for Homes for Good.”

Images: scottishphotographer.com, nschouterden/Flickr.

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