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University of Edinburgh invests £1mn in social housing fund

Melanie May | 9 July 2024 | News

A rooftop shot of Edinburgh. By Lino9999 on Pixabay.

The University of Edinburgh has announced a £1 million investment in a social housing fund.

Managed by Social and Sustainable Capital, the SASH II fund loans charities and social enterprises the finance to purchase residential properties, which are then leased to people at risk of homelessness.

The University of Edinburgh previously invested £1 million in the first Social and Sustainable Housing Fund (SASH I), which raised £64.5 million and supported 20 social impact organisations across the UK.

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The Scottish organisations supported by the SASH I portfolio were Simon Community Scotland, the Positive Steps Partnership and the social enterprise Homes for Good Glasgow. As an example, using a £5 million loan from SASH I, Simon Community Scotland purchased 15 properties across Edinburgh, providing affordable accommodation through its SCS Homes project for up to 30 vulnerable adults at risk of homelessness.

Greig (right) is a tenant of SCS Homes

Over £35 million has been committed to SASH II to date, with The Scottish National Investment Bank investing £15 million for allocation to Scottish organisations.

Alongside the University and the Scottish National Investment Bank, investors in SASH II include Better Society Capital, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme, Ceniarth, and Ogelsby Charitable Trust.

The University’s Social Investment Fund was announced in 2019 and has so far invested £8 million in funds that deliver a social benefit alongside a traditional financial return.

Dave Gorman, Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh said:

“As values-driven institutions with commitments to social and civic responsibility, universities can use their finances to address social issues, whilst generating a return on investment. That has been the mission of our Social Investment Fund.   We are delighted to support SASH II, having seen the positive impact that affordable housing can bring to vulnerable people here in our city and across Scotland.

Mark Bickford, CEO of Social and Sustainable Capital said:

“We are looking forward to building on the success of SASH I with fantastic, people-first organisations – all delivering significant social impact. We’re pleased to receive further investment from the University of Edinburgh, which demonstrates the potential of universities as social impact investors.

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