The first charity bond to be listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Order Book for Retail Bonds, which will fund accommodation for people with a learning disability, has closed its offer period more than two weeks early, because it was oversubscribed.
The bond was launched on June 27 via Retail Charity Bonds plc, an independent non-profit special purpose vehicle which is an initiative of Allia, a community benefit society with exempt charity status, and established in association with Canaccord Genuity. The offer period was expected to close on July 23 but closed on July 9 due to strong demand.
The £11 million raised by the Bond will enable learning disability charity Mencap’s housing arm, Golden Lane Housing (GLH), to invest in buying and adapting housing for people with a learning disability in their local communities. Only 16% of people with a learning disability live in supported housing in the community and many struggle to compete on the open market, particularly in areas where there is no suitable social housing.
Alastair Graham, director of GLH, said: “We are delighted at the response we have seen to the Golden Lane Housing Retail Charity Bond and thrilled by the early closure. The bond will enable Golden Lane Housing to house around 100 people with a learning disability, who are currently living in inadequate housing due to the housing shortage. The houses and bungalows will also be there for future generations of people with a learning disability – the bond will provide a positive and lasting legacy.”
This charity bond follows on from GLH’s previous £10 million corporate bond issue which closed in July 2013. The proceeds have now been invested in buying and adapting 27 houses and bungalows in community settings across the country, which have become home to 99 tenants with a learning disability.
Jan Tregelles (pictured), chief executive of Mencap, added: “Most people with a learning disability want greater independence yet struggle to get on to the property market. By providing high quality, permanent homes within their local communities people with a learning disability will be able to live the lives they choose, whilst their families know they are settled and supported in long-term housing.
“The early closure represents a huge success and shows that Golden Lane Housing [is] finding creative and innovative solutions to help address the housing crisis affecting people with a learning disability.”