Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised leading social impact investment company Resonance on the launch of its new homelessness property fund, to help meet the increasing demand of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

A multi-disciplinary team at WBD advised Resonance on the project, led by partner Barry Stimpson who provided key funds expertise. Legal director Emma Radmore advised on regulatory requirements, managing associate Ronan Lowney advised on tax issues and associate Jason Hobday on real estate matters.

The National Homelessness Property fund 2 (NHPF2 or the fund) has an initial investment of £20 million and a target fund size of £50-£100 million. The fund works by acquiring properties and leasing them to housing sector and homelessness charities who provide individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with a settled home.

Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Big Society Capital, the UK's leading social impact investor, are the first investors into the fund. NHPF2 will partner with Let Us, a group of registered housing providers in Greater Manchester, and initially focus on purchasing affordable homes in the Greater Manchester region with plans to expand nationally.

NHPF2 has been created following the successful model of the National Homelessness Property Fund which launched in December 2015 and purchased 229 properties, housing nearly 600 people who were at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Barry Stimpson of WBD commented:

"We're delighted to have advised Resonance and its partners on this new homelessness fund, which will be a lifeline for so many people experiencing hardship and who are in desperate need of safe, good quality affordable housing. NHPF2 will make a real difference to people's lives and it has been a great pleasure to be involved in this important project, bringing a sense of community and togetherness in what has been a very difficult 2020 for many with the global pandemic and the devastating socio-economic impacts it has brought."

Simon Chisholm, Resonance's Chief Investment Officer, added:

"With homelessness on the rise the need for safe, decent and affordable housing is great; in Greater Manchester alone over 80,000 people are on social housing waiting lists. Building on the success of our previous property funds Resonance is proud to launch our next social impact property fund, the National Homelessness Property fund 2, which will initially focus on purchasing affordable homes across the North West. We're grateful to the WBD team for its ongoing commitment to the project and first-rate legal expertise."

Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, WBD advises over 40 FTSE 350 companies, including many of the largest businesses in the country, government organisations and private clients. The firm is the transatlantic law firm close to home, operating from eight offices in the UK, including London, and 19 offices in the US.