Today, on World Homeless Day, British Community Benefit Society, Equfund is launching the Sanctuary Bond, a Loanstock offer designed to raise emergency funds to combat the UK’s escalating homelessness problem by providing emergency accommodation to those in urgent need. Equfund has set out to raise up to £5 million from the British public with the […]
Ethical alternative to Buy-to-Let, Reap, relaunches to address housing shortage
With returns from buy-to-let investing falling over recent years, British Community Benefit Society, Equfund is launching a second round of Reap, a secure property-based financing arrangement. Reap sees ethically minded investors lend their money to provide decent, safe, and affordable housing for people at risk of homelessness.
Reap invests in property to provide affordable rental homes for people in housing need. Every acquisition is rigorously assessed to ensure it can provide a durable and reliable cash income stream for investors. The management of the property is handled entirely by Equfund.
With a minimum investment of £15,000, investors will receive a fixed monthly income (from the rental income) with a flat interest rate of 3% per annum without the associated risks, responsibilities and inconveniences of being a landlord. 100% of the original lump sum is returned to the investor after five years, and the invested amount and their monthly income is unaffected by voids or (maintenance costs) if the property requires maintenance.
The first round of Reap raised over £3,750,000 when it first launched in 2015, double the target amount. In this second round, Reap has transitioned from primarily investing in and refurbishing long-term empty homes to acquiring properties that are ready to move in. This transition, which was brought about by the worsening housing crisis in the UK, allows the company to act with greater speed in providing housing for those most in need and to allocate more investors’ funds against property.
The ethical alternative
Reap protects investors’ money by only borrowing 85% of the property value and the loan is registered against property at HM Land Registry much in the same way a mortgage is.
Reap is fully transparent. Unlike many other property schemes, there are no fees involved and Reap guarantees to secure the investment against UK property and does not rely on property price growth to generate an income for investors. Each property has its open market value assessed by an independent Chartered Surveyor, and investors can arrange to visit a property prior to allocating their funds against it. For further security, and to limit exposure to any single property or locality, investors can request to have their money split and lodged against more than one property.
Reap actively rents to tenants in receipt of Local Housing Allowance or Universal Credit, with the belief that doing so is an important step in breaking the cycle of housing poverty caused by rampant discrimination of people in receipt of housing benefits. Reap goes as far as to assist LHA tenants with the paperwork required to claim their correct allowances and will help to submit this to the local council on their behalf.
Andrew Mahon, Director at Equfund said:
“With the government seeking to gain more control over the private rented sector, the buy-to-let market has become progressively complex over the last 12 months, and the next 12 months will see yet more considerable changes to the sector. Investors no longer see much sense in putting their hard-earned money into a market that increasingly offers less rewards and more headaches and exposes them to great risk if they’re not fulfilling all of the new regulations.
With Reap we’re offering a viable alternative to this broken system that not only tackles the growing housing crisis in the UK with a long-term solution, but also provides a stable and predictable income for socially responsible investors who still want to have a slice of the property market.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done. We have a proven track record over the last decade in addressing the housing crisis with ethical and sustainable solutions. This second round of Reap will turbocharge the all-important work we do of putting a roof over the heads of those who most need it.”
Since being founded in 2002, Equfund has found homes for thousands of people through investments of over £33 million.
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For more information on Reap, please visit: http://www.myreap.co.uk
For all media enquiries, images and interview requests, please contact:
Julian Obubo & Lareece Blenman
0203 1379 270
Reap is provided by Equfund (IPS) Limited, a social enterprise and affordable housing provider registered with the Financial Conduct Authority under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (registration number: 29088R).