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Supporting homelessness prevention and alleviation through investment in the private rental sector

DCLG commissioned Social Finance to explore ways of using institutional investment to increase the supply of long term, well managed, Private Rented Sector Accommodation for homeless households at Local Housing Allowance level rents. This includes both the purchase of existing property and new build. A seminar was held on November 4 2013 with representatives from around 25 local authorities and provided an important opportunity to canvas a wider range of opinion and perspectives.

The project has also benefited from the advice and guidance provided by an expert advisory group including representations from a range of organisations, which met regularly throughout this project to review progress. Meetings were conducted with a number of additional private sector organisations during this project including potential investors, tenant and asset managers, and registered providers, who have also provided constructive challenge and feedback. In addition to this report, a technical guide for local authorities as well as a financial model to assess viability have been developed which are available for use. The structures and financial model have been developed with consideration of the acquisition of a portfolio of street property. This reflects the desire by local authorities to consider activities which can be completed immediately to help address homelessness numbers, and the time lags of introducing new build developments. However it is not viewed that the inclusion of new build developments would have a material impact on the analysis presented, and both the financial model and structures can be easily adapted.

The technical guide can be downloaded here and for a copy of the financial model please email info@socialfinance.org.uk.