One in three people with a learning disability are able to live independently, and GLH, the UK’s largest ever unlisted charity bond are going to buy houses for people with a learning disability.
Housing options have been limited due to the reliance on social housing and capital grants from the government, of which there is an increasing shortage. Mencap research found that 8 in 10 councils in England and Wales report a shortage of suitable accommodation for people with a learning disability in their areas.
The charity is aiming to raise the money from various social investors, who must put in a minimum of £2,000 each. They will then receive a fixed gross yield of 4% per annum for the five year fixed term.
GLH are aiming to raise up to £30m over the next few years, to give 250 people with a learning disability the chance to live independently in specially adapted homes.
Around 80% of councils in England and Wales have a housing shortage for adults with a learning disability and 67 reckon the situation has worsened in the last 12 months.
Jan Tregelles, 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.