London Rebuilding society became a member of IIN in February 2017.

London Rebuilding Society (LRS), is a pioneer and market maker. A Registered society for Co-operative and Community Benefit, LRS has a proven track record of delivering innovative products and services. Its mission is to design solutions which address market failures and provide for people suffering hardship and social and financial exclusion.

Background

Central to LRS’s approach is to work across all sectors to address poverty, social and financial exclusion, and in particular the effects of substandard cold, damp housing on older homeowners increasing fuel poverty and affecting their health and well being. It does so through its Home Improvement Scheme, now the Society’s primary focus.

The LRS Home Improvement Scheme helps older homeowners (55 plus) who are cash poor, but equity rich. Through the scheme homeowners, many of whom exist below the radar – the invisible poor – get access to independent financial advice and a route to finance which can fund a customised package of support including access to benefits and entitlements advice, grants for adaptations, energy efficiency works, arranging temporary accommodation whilst carrying out and managing all of the works needed to the home. When the owner returns, the home is then warm, safe, energy efficient and comfortable – fit for them to live independently for as long as they wish.

The challenge

When LRS became a member they had a number of goals. Firstly to secure a partner for their Home Improvement Scheme (HIS) i.e.(large corporate/insurer/ provider of suitable finance) and secondly to secure finance to scale up.

Previous experience of trying to solve the problem had failed. LRS had tried to raise their own funds to re-launch the earlier publicly funded East London Home Improvement Scheme with no success. This was not unusual but created a real problem for LRS. Previous efforts had identified an insurer funder of equity release to pilot HIS, with a view to a longer-term arrangement, but they were hit by policy changes in pensions and so merged with another company and had to close the pilot scheme.

How we helped

SSX/IIN were introduced to Nigel Wilson, Group CEO of Legal & General, and presented a case study which led to discussions with Legal & General Home Finance, and two pilot schemes were completed. LRS secured eligibility for Social Investment Tax Relief, at which point we arranged meetings with Amberside (IIN Shareholders), which led to introductions to CH1. This secured significant investment from individual investors. It enabled them to put their SITR loan onto the Ethex website which in turn unlocked the Ethex Big Society Capital matching scheme to secure match finance.

These simple little steps gave further confidence tor existing investors including Natwest Social and Community Capital Fund and helped encourage Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to invest alongside.

The end results

  • Legal & General Home Finance designed and developed a lifetime mortgage to meet the specific needs of this client group
  • £240k individual investors under SITR, £160k as a direct result of the introduction to Amberside Capital
  • £240k match finance from BSC via Ethex
  • £300k from Esmee Fairbairn
  • Restructuring of existing debt with Natwest Social and Community Capital to rank alongside Esmee Fairbairn finance.
  • £780k finance to scale up LRS. Completely innovative package of finance and support from existing key lender working in collaboration to ensure the success of LRS Home Improvement Scheme going forwards

A word from the CEO – Naomi Kingsley

“We have received terrific support from IIN, including an introduction to Legal & General Home Finance at a key moment. This led to some pilot schemes being undertaken and to Legal and General Home Finance developing their Property Refurbishment Lifetime Mortgage.

We are thrilled to have raised through IIN and Amberside Capital investment from individuals under our SITR raise, and with Ethex and their Big Society Capital match scheme achieved our £480k target so quickly!

Together with the continuing support from our existing key funder, Natwest Social and Community Capital, and a further £300k loan from such an influential champion of high impact social innovation as Esmee Fairbairn create a unique cocktail of funding to support a unique social impact business.

LRS can now focus on making a difference to many more elderly homeowners wishing to remain independently living in their own homes in dignity, comfort and safety. “