Golden Lane Housing (GLH), the housing arm of Mencap, has launched a £10 million charity bond that will raise money to buy homes for people with a learning disability. 

Investors in the bond, which has a minimum investment level of £2,000 per investor, will receive a fixed gross yield of 4% per annum for the 5-year fixed term.

Working in partnership with Triodos Bank, GLH aims to raise £10 million from a range of social investors for this bond before the closing date of April 30. 

GLH views this bond issue as the first step in raising up to £30 million over the next few years, which will mean that, in total, investors will give 250 people with a learning disability the chance to live independently in specially adapted homes.  

Just 1 in 3 people with a learning disability currently live independently, and 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 two thirds stating this has worsened in the past 12 months.

GLH and Mencap work with local authorities and NHS commissioners to find funding for suitable properties for people with a learning disability and then develop packages of support so that they are able to live independently. 

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 GLH, 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.”