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£10 million charity housing bond launched by Golden Lane Housing and Mencap
Friday 15 February 2013
UK’s largest ever unlisted charity bond will buy houses for people with a learning disability
Mencap’s housing charity, Golden Lane Housing (GLH), has today launched a £10 million charity bond, which will raise money to buy homes for people with a learning disability.
The GLH bond will be the UK’s largest ever unlisted charity bond issue of its kind.
Investors in the bond, which has a minimum investment level of £2,000 per investor, will receive a fixed gross yield of 4% per year for the five-year fixed term.
Working in partnership with Triodos Bank – the UK’s leading sustainable bank – the charity is aiming to raise £10 million from a range of social investors for this bond before the closing date of 30 April 2013.
This bond will be the first step in raising up to £30 million over the next few years, which will mean that investors will give a total of 250 people with a learning disability the chance to live independently in specially-adapted homes.
Among the first to benefit from the bond will be Claire Donaldson, James Wilkinson, Lizzie Searle and Sarah Gibson (pictured). They will move into a house bought by the bond money in March.
Too few living independently
Just 1 in 3 people with a learning disability currently lives independently. Many struggle to compete on the open market, making it virtually impossible to find housing in areas where there is no suitable social housing available.
Recent Mencap research found that 8 in 10 councils in England and Wales report a housing shortage for adults with a learning disability in their areas, with nearly 7 in 10 saying that this has worsened in the last 12 months.
Jan Tregelles, Mencap’s acting chief executive of Mencap, said: “There is a severe housing shortage for people with a learning disability. Following the abuse scandal at Winterbourne View, demand for housing is set to grow further because the government has committed to return many of the 3,000 people currently in long stay hospitals to their local communities.
Investors in this bond have the chance to transform the lives of people with a learning disability by helping them to live the lives they choose in quality, permanent homes.
Alastair Graham, director of Golden Lane Housing, said: “In difficult times, we need creative and ambitious solutions. Unprecedented cuts to local authority budgets mean charities must widen their sources of funding. We are confident that this bond will raise the capital we need to help us support more people than ever, and in turn create a new model for social investment within the charity and housing sectors.”
Photo: Layton Thompson