Homelessness

Negotiating secure funding for safe accommodation
Valley House asked us to help negotiate funding that allowed them to buy and develop more properties.

Valley House, in Coventry, provide safe accommodation for vulnerable people - including families escaping domestic abuse and young parents who are unable to live independently.

 

With suitable housing for these groups in short supply, Valley House wanted to take more control by buying instead of leasing. To fund the purchases, they approached Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) for a loan and asked Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) to guide them through the legal aspects.

 

A perfect match

Traditionally, Valley House has been funded largely by grants. Borrowing money was something new, with a degree of risk involved. However, they were in good hands. Social and Sustainable Capital is an organisation that lends solely to projects with social impact and Valley House is exactly the sort of project they look to fund. Even so, SASC investors expect a return as they are often philanthropic organisations who want to grow their investment to fund more projects in the future.

 

CEO, LJ Winterburn, describes what Valley House were looking for from ACS;

"Taking on the SASC loan was a very big step for us. We wanted to be confident in the advice and support we would be getting - that the solicitors we used understood the enormity of what we were doing. We have used ACS in the past and know that they 'get us' so they were the natural choice."
LJ Winterburn, CEO of Valley House

More financially sustainable

ACS made sure that both parties were happy with the arrangement and that Valley House understood the ramifications of the loan. As a result, Valley House have been able to buy 13 properties with plans to buy nine more – which will provide homes for 28 people. The funding also makes the charity more financially sustainable in the long-term as it will own the properties and no longer be so reliant on the private rented sector. Jon Coane, partner at ACS, says the work was about more than understanding the finer points of law;

"Contracts are often drafted by lawyers who don’t necessarily understand the business of the borrower and what they’re trying to do. If I can help charities get funding in a way which doesn’t trip them up, that enables them to do more and grow their charity, that means a lot to me."
Jon Coane, partner at ACS

Contact

Jon Coane
jon.coane@anthonycollins.com
0121 214 3542
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