Patron unveils world’s first gender-lens property fund

Property investor Patron Capital and social impact investment company Resonance have joined forces to create and manage a new social impact fund with a target size of £100 mln (€117 mln).

The Women In Safe Homes (WISH) Fund, believed to be the world’s first gender-lens property fund, is being created as a solution to the lack of affordable, safe and secure homes for women who are experiencing homelessness, are ex-offenders, survivors of domestic abuse or have other complex needs.

The initial fund proposal was developed by Big Society Capital, the UK’s social impact investor, which has agreed in principal, a commitment of £10 mln. The vehicle has also secured women’s sector charity, Preston Road Women’s Centre in Hull as first partner and is in search for further investors and women’s sector and homelessness charity partners.

Alongside the potential of a financial return for investors from rent and capital appreciation, the Fund has a strong focus on achieving substantial positive social impact by supporting women in challenging circumstances. This will be achieved by providing them with housing and access to the support networks needed to help them rebuild their lives by partnering with women’s sector charities. 

The vehicle aims to provide around 750 affordable homes across the UK.
 
'Making a positive difference to society, whether through our investments or our charitable activities, has always been part of our ethos at Patron,' said Keith Breslauer, Managing Director of Patron Capital. 'This new venture, working alongside Resonance, will enable us to combine our extensive property investment expertise, granular approach and wide network of real estate and investment contacts with our desire to help those who need it the most. Without safe and secure housing, women experiencing complex issues and adversity find it much harder to care for children, gain employment, access health care, or arrange benefits. The WISH Fund is aiming to tackle this significant issue, helping to improve lives across the UK.' 
 
Simon Chisholm, Resonance’s Chief Investment Officer added: 'We are excited to be partnering with Patron as joint Fund Manager on the WISH Fund and charity partners such as Preston Road Women’s Centre. The commitment from Big Society Capital will enable us to attract like-minded investors into the Fund so that we can purchase homes for women at risk of or experiencing homelessness and help make a real difference to their lives. Resonance brings a wealth of experience of how property funds can help solve the societal issue of homelessness gained through our existing Homelessness Property Funds, which to date have raised almost £200 mln and bought and refurbished hundreds of properties, housing over 1,500 individuals and families.'

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