Golden Lane Housing (GLH), Mencap's housing service, launched a charity bond in February with the support of Triodos Bank. The funds raised through the bond are being used by GLH to acquire freehold properties, which will be adapted for people with a learning disability.
The £10 million bond has proved so popular that it has been oversubscribed by people looking to invest in it. The bond gives a social as well as financial return, with a fixed gross yield of 4% per annum for the 5-year fixed term.
Five properties have already been acquired and the new residents have begun to move into their new homes.
Charlie, Tom, Mark and Paul moved into their property on May 24 in Great Casterton, Stamford. Tom’s mother, Vicky, said: “Tom is a lot more confident. This will probably be his forever house, we wanted it to be the right location and right house and with the right support staff. We seem to have last got the right package. One of the most important things is Tom is not lonely; he has got his own little family now.”
Due to the success of the bond, GLH may look to launch further bond issues in the future. Alastair Graham, director of GLH, said: “This bond has been a huge success for us. We have already bought our first five properties using this capital to provide desperately needed homes for people with a learning disability.
“We have a pipeline of future properties for purchase all across the country to enable people currently living in inappropriate institutional settings, or with parents who can no longer cope, to live with support in the community. These homes will be a lasting legacy for future generations of people with a learning disability. We’re considering whether a further bond issue will allow us to do even more.”
A shortage of social housing means just one in three people with a learning disability live independently. Many live in residential homes, away from their friends and families, or stay living with parents well into adulthood.
Picture: (L-R) Claire Donaldson, James Wilkinson, Lizzie Searle and Sarah Gibson, who moved in to the first house to be bought in May, thanks to investors in the Golden Lane Housing charity bond. (C) Golden Lane Housing. Credit: Layton Thompson.