Some £10m worth of new loan finance is now on offer to housing projects in London.
Big Issue Invest (BII) – in partnership with the Greater London Authority – has launched the BII London Housing Fund.
The fund will invest £10m as loan finance for 300 affordable homes in the capital over 10 years, whilst also creating work and training opportunities.
BII is specifically interested in innovation, ranging from social sector organisations renovating empty properties to housing associations constructing new homes.
The fund is actively seeking applications from organisations that need early stage finance through to project development finance, either as sole lender or providing the final funding for completion.
First up is Habitat for Humanity Homes GB, a charity based in South London that will use the funding to refurbish an empty property in Lewisham, creating two units of affordable housing.
On completion, it is hoped that the properties will be sub-leased to Housing for Women, a charity and housing association that provide homes for vulnerable women.
Since 2004 Habitat for Humanity Homes has created over 50 units of affordable housing and provided training opportunities for 50 unemployed young people.
Gareth Hepworth from Habitat for Humanity Homes said the funding was key to the success of the project given the shortage of funders willing to provide finance for small scale affordable housing projects.
Daniel Wilson-Dodd, investment director at Big Issue Invest believes London faces its biggest housing challenge since the Victorian era.
“The London Housing Fund is addressing this crisis by investing in organisations that will create affordable housing and provide employment and training opportunities for vulnerable individuals, demonstrating an alignment with The Big Issue’s mission to eradicate poverty and create opportunity,” he said.