In the press

Investment Trust Insider on Triple Point Social Housing

Investment Trust Insider on Triple Point Social Housing – James Carthew: thank goodness for social housing

Triple Point Social Housing (SOHO), the smaller of the two real estate investment trusts (Reit) focused on supported living properties, has published its first full set of annual results. These made positive reading with a total return of 7.5% on net assets last year mainly due to revaluation gains on its now 272 properties.

SOHO is aimed at housing people who require some form of care provision. I was very optimistic about the growth prospects for the sector when it launched in August 2017 but then Horizon Housing and Fundamentum Supported Housing failed to launch, LXi Reit decided to sell its supported living properties and a small group of commentators have been agitating against these funds.

For most of us, there are very few investments we can make that make a real positive difference to society. ESG (environmental, social and governance) and SRI (socially responsible investing) funds are proliferating but it seems to me that many of these just engage in ‘box ticking’ exercises – no alcohol, no guns, no tobacco, for example.

In December 2018, Aberdeen Standard Investments did try to launch a fund dedicated to impact investing (putting money behind businesses that were working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals). However, Global Sustainability Trust did not attract sufficient demand and its launch was postponed, perhaps indefinitely.

The two social housing funds are helping to increase the stock of supported living accommodation in the UK. There is a genuine shortage – the National Housing Federation estimated that the shortfall of housing places for adults of working age with specialist care needs was 15,640 in 2015, that this would grow to 29,053 in 2019/20 and 46,771 by 2024/25. The context for this is a much wider and well-recognised problem of a lack of affordable and general needs housing in the UK.

The government funds the provision… read more here