PRESS RELEASE: 10 JULY 2012
SAF Housing Solutions Limited has appointed one of the country’s leading corporate finance advisers to support the launch of the UK’s first social housing Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).
In its bid to raise between £200m and £500m, which will be invested in low-risk social and extra care housing stock across the UK, SAF Housing has appointed a team from accountancy firm Mazars.
“The SAF Housing REIT will be an investment backed housing provision aimed at delivering moderate and reliable returns for investors. It is not a tool for developers,” said Phil Shanks who launched SAF Housing in 2011.
A social worker turned entrepreneur, Phil has devised an investment model capable of delivering reliable returns while providing affordable and sustainable housing to some of the UK’s most vulnerable citizens.
“The appointment of Mazars is a crucial stage in our journey towards launching the country’s first social housing REIT, backed entirely by open market investment,” said Phil.
“Although demand for social housing has never been greater, downward pressure on benefits and, in turn, rent levels, continues. The SAF Housing REIT is a financial framework that substantially reduces rent costs. Through it, we are able to relieve financial pressure on local authorities and help them meet demands for extra care accommodation while delivering a predictable return for investors.”
A number of local authorities have expressed an interest in taking advantage of SAF's new housing proposition when the REIT launches in the Autumn. Meetings with potential investors will be held between July and September.
Leigh Wormald, Partner and Head of Real Estate at Mazars, said: “The SAF Housing REIT has been structured to provide a reliable and exceptionally low-risk investment proposition. With a minimum 4% guaranteed return, this property portfolio represents one of the most attractive and low-risk investment options in the market. Not only is it low-risk, it is also socially responsible and ethical in its philosophy: it demonstrates how institutions and entrepreneurs can actively contribute to broader society, aligning their objectives with specific social aims from the outset. We’re very excited to be working with SAF on this principled and groundbreaking venture ”
• According to the National Housing Federation, social housing waiting lists have increased by 70% over the past decade
• ‘Extra care’ refers to housing with onsite support that allows elderly residents to retain their independence for longer. Demand for this type of housing is expected to grow quickly over the coming decades as life expectancy and the health of the elderly continue to improve.