The AEW UK Real Return Fund has acquired a block of 27 two-bed apartments in Westhoughton near Bolton for £2.8m. These have been let to My Space Housing Solutions for the provision of supported living units for vulnerable adults with a range of support needs such as mental health issues and learning disabilities.
My Space are serving the needs of the local community in Bolton Borough, part of Greater Manchester Consortium for Local Authority, one of the leaders in rolling out the next phase of Supported Living programmes and funding mechanisms. Demand for this type of accommodation is growing during a difficult period for health and social care since it provides a lower cost solution for Local Authorities and NHS Trusts yet also provides better outcomes for vulnerable adults. My Space have been granted a long lease with inflation-linked annual reviews, by the new owners AEW, to allow them to offer a secure and stable living environment at the heart of the community.
Ian Mason, Portfolio Manager, AEW UK Real Return Fund commented that “buying blocks of residential on the outskirts of Bolton may not be as fashionable as PRS (Private Rented Sector) – where the big institutions are funding luxury City centre schemes for private rent – but this new investment fund has been designed specifically to allow us to target the provision of social housing in areas where there is a need, anywhere in the U.K.”
“We know that the provision of modern quality facilities for healthcare, affordable housing, assisted living etc. all lie at the heart of local authority communities, but local projects might not necessarily have the scale to attract the major capital providers. It is often suggested that Local Authority pension schemes could fund such projects, although this presents potential conflicts where the investor and operator could be part of the same entity. However, opportunities as small as £3m are ideal for this Fund as it looks to build a diversified portfolio of this type of social infrastructure, as a significant part of the strategy”.