Social Enterprise London Rebuilding Society has launched its £750k Empty Homes Fund with finance from a major UK bank. It is seeking local authority partners to help it develop the funding model, which buiids on pilot work undertaken with the London Borough of Redbridge.
The prospectus (available to for download from our library for full members only, so you'll need to be logged in) describes the model in some detail but Abdus Saleh, the driving force behind the scheme, is keen to emphasise its flexibilty. For example in London, the schemes developed with LB Redbridge involved a partnership with East London charity DABD to provide hand-holding and financial advice to vulnerable owners as documented in the prospectus. Abdus is looking at other partners such as Advice UK or IncomeMAX to provide similar services elsewhere in the country - but points out that the relevant advice and support might also be provided by the local authority.
Partnership with local authorities is a key element in this scheme, with leasing of the empty homes by the local authority seen as a vital housing outcome.
Abdus, who has extensive background in the finance industry and successfully negotiated the £750k funding from a major bank, sees this as an opportunity to demonstrate the robustness of a model which he is confident can be replicated on a much larger scale with input from other institutional investors. Different local authorities will present different opportunities and he is keen to gain insight into the potential. He's contactable via email at Abdus.Saleh@londonrebuilding.com or by phone on 020 7997 7343.