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Patron Capital Launches First-Ever ‘Gender Lens’ Property Fund On Back Of €500M Opportunity Fund Raise

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Keith Breslauer, Founder of Patron Capital
Patron Capital founder Keith Breslauer can usually be found climbing something for charity

Patron Capital has launched what it believes to be the first-ever “gender lens” property fund, which will buy assets addressing the lack of affordable, safe and secure homes for women who are experiencing homelessness, are ex-offenders, survivors of domestic abuse or have other complex needs.

Patron is one of a raft of property investors raising capital for social impact funds, alongside managers like Moorfield and FORE Partnership. It has also raised a big slug of capital for the latest in its highly successful line of opportunity funds.

Patron has teamed up with impact investment specialist Resonance to launch the Women In Safe Homes Fund. It has a target size of £100M and has an initial commitment of £10M from social impact investor Big Society Capital.

The fund has a target of providing around 750 homes through buying and building assets and backing operators. Alongside the potential of a financial return for investors from rent and capital appreciation, the fund will have a strong focus on achieving substantial positive social impact by supporting women in challenging circumstances, Patron and Resonance said in a statement. This will be achieved by partnering with women’s sector charities to provide women with housing and access to the support networks needed to help them rebuild their lives.

The fund has already formed its first partnership, with women’s sector charity Preston Road Women’s Centre in Hull, which will offer safe homes and help other women’s sector organisations to replicate its recovery model for women and children.

“Without safe and secure housing, women experiencing complex issues and adversity find it much harder to care for children, gain employment, access healthcare or arrange benefits,” Patron Managing Director Keith Breslauer said. “The WISH Fund is aiming to tackle this significant issue, helping to improve lives across the UK.”

“This new property fund represents one of the ways we’re helping to do this, by convening experts to develop and scale an innovative housing model that meets the most pressing needs of women and their children in challenging circumstances, such as homelessness, addiction and domestic violence survivors,” Big Society Capital Head of Origination Anna Shiel said.
 
“Our decision to approach part of our housing work with a gender lens came after we engaged with the sector. It became clear that women are often part of the hidden homelessness, and there are strong links to domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls.”

Patron and Breslauer have earned a reputation as among the best opportunistic fund managers in Europe, operating in the tier underneath giants like Blackstone and Brookfield. Significant UK deals include the purchase and sale of house builder Cala Homes, and in 2017 it took Punch Taverns private in a £1.8B deal alongside brewing giant Heineken.

In July, PERE reported that Patron had raised €500M for its sixth fund, which will likely raise about €1B of equity in total. PERE said the first close of the fund had been reached ahead of schedule.