Homelessness Oxfordshire, the largest provider of supported accommodation for homeless people in Oxfordshire, has received a social investment loan from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC).
The investment – from SASC’s Social and Sustainable Housing fund (SASH) – will help increase and improve the quality of accommodation it provides for rough sleepers in Banbury and Oxford.
The charity plays a central role in tackling homelessness in Oxford and the surrounding areas and supports 220 single homeless people in Oxfordshire in 11 different housing projects.
As well as housing provision, the charity delivers high-quality support services, including meals, training, and education to help vulnerable individuals get back on their feet, rebuild their lives and move on from homelessness.
Homelessness Oxfordshire approached SASC for a loan to provide accommodation for rough sleepers and enable it to purchase one-bed flats and larger four and five-bed houses in Oxford and Banbury, which would transform its portfolio from a rental model to one of homeownership.
Purchasing the homes will give the charity far greater control and autonomy over their properties and enable it to provide longer-term and more safe and stable homes, which Oxford City Council has identified are needed. Owning the properties will also provide the charity with greater financial sustainability in the future.
Jo Faulkner-Harvey, Head of Fundraising and Communications, said: “Oxford is a very expensive and problematic area for the homeless. The loan from SASC will be transformative.
“We will be able to purchase properties in Oxford and Banbury, some of which we currently rent, and move away from our reliance on private landlords. This means we can improve the quality of our accommodation, buy in better locations and ensure there is support to help people get back on their feet.”
“We will support a broader range of clients including those who need hostel accommodation, individuals who need quality move on accommodation and those with complex mental health needs who require longer two-year tenancies and support.”
Ben Rick, CEO of SASC, said: “Homelessness Oxfordshire is a specialist in providing safe home and high-quality support and initiatives for vulnerable individuals.
“With the loan, they will be able to reconfigure their housing portfolio and purchase homes rather than rent them, giving them complete control and better housing options to support a wider range of people and help them move away from homelessness to achieve an independent life.”
This is SASC’s 10th investment from the SASH fund. SASH was co-designed with borrower charities whose work with vulnerable people was being hampered through lack of access to safe, stable, and appropriate homes.
SASC provides simple finance to help charities and social enterprises improve the lives of disadvantaged people across the UK. Visit socialandsustainable.com for more information.
Homeless Oxfordshire has over 34 years of experience in accommodating and supporting homeless and vulnerably housed people across the county. The charity aims to help single homeless men and women recover, regain, and maintain independence. Visit homelessoxfordshire.uk for more information about SASC.