The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is investing £15 million in a new scheme that aims to purchase hundreds of homes for Londoners who have been, or are at risk of becoming, homeless.
The scheme will purchase around 330 existing private properties in good condition, and let them at genuinely affordable rents to some of the most vulnerable Londoners, helping them to get back on their feet into independent living.
The properties will offer individuals and families who are ready to move on from hostels and other temporary accommodation and live independently in a stable, affordable home. Tenants will also be able to access wider support to help them move into training and employment.
The scheme, “Real Lettings Property Fund 2” will be run by Resonance Limited, a social impact investment company, and homelessness charity St Mungo’s. On top of City Hall’s £15million, the London boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth and Westminster have committed a total £45 million to the scheme. Resonance hope to get the support of other boroughs and investors to reach the fund target of £100 million.
The scheme builds on the success of two similar projects already being run by Resonance and St Mungo’s. All three funds have housed approximately 1,300 people to date, with data from the longest-running fund showing 100 per cent of tenants sustained their tenancy for more than six months, and 44 per cent now in employment.
Sadiq also announced today that the second round of grants from his Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund are now available to bid for. The fund, which Sadiq launched last April, provides grants to small-scale, innovative projects to pilot original ideas and develop new services. Seven projects were awarded grants in the first round of funding, including Beam, the world’s first scheme for crowdfunding employment training for homeless people, helping them to progress towards stable, paid work.
The second round of £200,000 is now available, and the Mayor is urging potential projects across the capital to apply by visiting the London.gov.uk website. Grants range from £10,000 to £80,000 and bids that include match-funding will be prioritised. All bids must be supported by a London borough, and the next round of projects will start in April 2018.