We are delighted to have made a second investment to social housing company Giroscope to help bring empty homes back to life for those in need in Hull.
19 February 2018 – Giroscope, an award-winning social housing company in west Hull, has grown its property portfolio, is housing more people and has expanded its training and community services thanks to two investments from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC), totalling £1m.
Giroscope buys and renovates empty property in Hull to rent affordably to those in need and engages and trains volunteers, many of whom are at risk of social exclusion.
The charity was set up in 1985 by a group of young people in response to the housing crisis that had hit deprived neighbourhoods in Hull. Many areas had suffered following the collapse of the trawling industry and had low levels of owner occupation and poorly maintained private housing.
Initially the charity approached SASC for social investment in 2015, when a grant application needed for the purchase of a commercial property was turned down.
At the time this property was central to Giroscope’s expansion – it would provide bigger premises in the heart of the west Hull community and enable it to expand its training and volunteer programmes, community services and improve its interaction with people in the community.
SASC was able to provide finance quickly and bridge the funding gap. The charity first met with SASC in early December and by the middle of January 2016 the funds were in place. Giroscope was then able to purchase three properties, including the commercial property.
The commercial property on Coltman Street is now a community hub, where anyone can drop in for support and training including job applications. It also provides space that other community businesses can rent. The two residential properties were renovated by Giroscope volunteers and trainees and rapidly made available to local community members in need.
Caroline Gore Booth, Project Manager at Giroscope says,
“SASC’s initial investment was crucial as we risked losing the commercial property. The investment process was rigorous, but it was enjoyable, and it really helped us understand our figures. The process was also very fast, which enabled our project to go ahead – it couldn’t have happened without them.”
The second investment came in December 2017, alongside a grant from Power to Change which comprised 25% of the loan value, making it more affordable for the charity to take on the loan.
This investment has enabled Giroscope to purchase and renovate three further properties and to develop an exciting self-build project, which will see four houses being developed on a piece of land to the rear of its newly acquired property on Coltman Street.
The investment will provide homes for 18-20 additional people. Giroscope now provides housing for 264 people, which is a 20% increase since receiving the first investment from SASC.
Ben Rick, Managing Director of SASC said,
“Giroscope does really important work in the heart of the west Hull community. Breathing new life into these empty houses and renting them affordably has not only given those most in need safe and high-quality homes to live in, but it has improved the community too.
“In just two years since receiving the initial investment, the social impact Giroscope is having on the people in need within the local community is incredible. By creating secure homes, providing vital support and new opportunities for disadvantaged individuals, Giroscope is tangibly helping to improve the quality of their lives.”
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