First investment from Social and Sustainable Housing fund

We are delighted to have made a £3m follow-on investment in Hull Women’s Network, a charity based at the award-winning Preston Road Women’s Centre in Hull, and existing SASC investee.

This is the first investment from SASC’s ground-breaking new £26m housing fund. Social and Sustainable Housing (SASH) was launched in May with commitments from 19 investors.

SASH has been co-designed with and for charities to enable them to purchase homes for vulnerable people.  It offers an innovative investment proposition that has demonstrated appeal to both borrower charities and investors.

As a result of the investment, Hull Women’s Network (HWN) will be able to purchase 49 two to three bed properties to house women and children escaping domestic violence in Hull.  The funding will increase the range of accommodation HWN can provide for women at different stages of their recovery journey and will include a mixture of supported accommodation and general needs housing.

This is the second time SASC has invested in HWN. Both investments enable the charity to purchase housing for women fleeing violence, pay for renovations and all legal and professional fees, and provides for a member of staff who coordinates the property purchases and gets them ready for tenants.

Lisa Hilder, Trustee at HWN, said,

“We are delighted to receive this major investment from the new SASH fund as it will have a huge impact on our beneficiaries. We’re seeing major demand for homes for women fleeing violence in Hull. Thanks to this investment, we will be able to provide immediate homes for women in crisis, as well as permanent accommodation for women who are recovering from abuse and moving on with their lives.”

She added,

“SASC has been a tremendous support to us. We have helped them create an innovative and bespoke loan structure, which was designed to meet our needs. They have shared the investment risk with us, and this has been critical to us being able to provide sustainable housing for women in need. Research tells us that women fleeing domestic violence are known to return to the perpetrator an average of seven times before finally breaking free from abuse.  With access to safe, high quality housing, we can help them to break free from the abuse they suffer first time and this new investment will greatly help our mission.”

Ben Rick, Managing Director of SASC says,

“Hull Women’s Network is an inspiring charity which provides a lifeline for many women and their children in Hull. We are delighted to provide them with the first investment from our new SASH fund.

“We are proud to have created an innovative investment structure which appeals to both charities and investors. The fund will address a major social issue by increasing the stock of quality homes that will be available to communities for the long term. Since the launch, we have identified significant interest from charities who want to access the funds to purchase homes, and our fundraising efforts are ongoing to ensure we can respond to this demand.”

SASC is targeting a total fund size of £100m which will allow it to support 30 organisations, and to house 10,000 people over the next 10 years.


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Notes for Editors
About Social and Sustainable Capital
SASC provides simple finance for extraordinary charities and social enterprises.  We believe greater access to the right kind of investment makes charities and social enterprises better able to tackle society’s most pressing challenges.  Our funds provide flexible capital to enable social sector organisations to grow their social impact, improving the lives of disadvantaged people across the UK.  SASC is a social enterprise.
About Hull Women’s Network and Preston Road Women’s Centre
1. The Preston Road Women’s Centre (known locally also as WINNER and the Purple House) was set up in 2000 as part of the Preston Road regeneration programme to provide a centre for women only on the Preston Road estate, Hull.
2. The Centre aims to empower women and girls, offering accredited training courses, a domestic violence and abuse service, sexual health services, outreach support, nursery provision, a housing service, a volunteer programme and a young women’s participation project. It also runs a charity shop, at its base on Preston Road.
3. Hull Women’s Network runs the Umbrella Housing service through in conjunction with Preston Road Women’s Centre to provide safe housing for women and children in need. It also launched Affordable Justice Ltd in February 2016, providing legal services and representation to women who are not eligible for Legal Aid.