Cornerstone Place, a social enterprise that provides property solutions to homeless support charities, has received a social investment loan of £884k from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) to build 14 properties for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
The loan from SASC’s Community Investment Fund will pay for the Whitworth Road project, a new development in North Rochdale, which has 13 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment. The apartments will be built by Agile Property & Homes using Modern Methods of Construction that use renewable materials and can reduce energy costs and carbon emissions by up to 90% compared with traditional building methods.
The development also includes ancillary space to facilitate support staff on-site 24/7 from Stepping Stone Projects, a homelessness charity set up in partnership with Rochdale Council that already has an operational project with Cornerstone Place. Stepping Stone Projects will own the properties after completion, managing the units and delivering wrap-around support to the tenants.
Cornerstone Place was set up in 2019 with a mission to help end street homelessness in the UK by 2030, with a unique proposition that offers homelessness charities an alternative to renting or buying properties. They source the properties, arrange all the funding, manage the build and professional teams, arrange long-term finance and deliver the projects for the charities.
The aim is that the homelessness charity will end up owning the property without needing to dip into or tie up their valuable reserves, helping them to serve the people in their community over the long term.
David Ball, Co-Founder & Director at Cornerstone Place said: “There is a massive need for the Whitworth Road properties, with figures showing 283 people are in statutory temporary accommodation in Rochdale, 892 ‘open homelessness cases’ and a housing list nudging 8,000 applications. With SASC’s loan we will be able to fund the development for the benefit of the local community which will be managed by Stepping Stone Projects a trusted and impactful regional charity dedicated to supporting people.”
Mark Bickford, Chief Investment Officer at SASC said, “The management team at Cornerstone Place and the construction company are experienced and the project is well-planned, with Rochdale Borough Council strongly committed to the success of this project.
“The modular homes, coupled with the support from the charity, will provide a ‘stepping stone’ on the pathway to independence for care leavers, people who are homeless and those at risk of losing their homes. These homes will provide much needed accommodation for people in need who are not quite ready to live independently without support.”
SASC’s Community Investment Fund launched in 2014 and lends amounts of between £250,000 and £2 million to community based, locally led organisations which are providing essential services to improve the well-being of local residents.