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Hostels: The Next Resi Investment Frontier Opens In Manchester

Moorfield's first Bricks & Soul buy at Clayton, East Manchester

Co-living, pods, senior living, microhousing — the residential sector has begun to sniff out investment opportunities in every kind of home from spaces little bigger than a bed, through student housing to the full-service build-to-rent apartment.

Now the Moorfield Foundation, the charitable arm of UK real estate private equity fund manager Moorfield, has taken the evolution of residential a little bit further. It is investing in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) for homeless people in Clayton, East Manchester, and it said this is the start of something big.

The foundation has acquired a house in Manchester, which has been leased to Bridge-It Housing, a registered landlord and charity which provides temporary housing for homeless people. It is now home to four otherwise homeless residents.

The deal represents the Moorfield Foundation’s first dedicated social impact investment, a key tenet within its increasingly prominent corporate social responsibility programme.

Bricks & Soul, Moorfield’s local Manchester partner, will focus on bringing empty homes back into use with full and inspiring refurbishment methods, using local tradespeople and products, and will be responsible for finding, refurbishing and delivering the property. 

Bridge-It Housing will then find the tenants. In the last year it has provided support to more than 1,000 people through its various initiatives.

In a statement to Bisnow Moorfield said: “The initiative is very much still in its infancy so we haven’t put any numbers on it yet but it’s definitely something we are looking into scaling up.”

Moorfield is already a vanguard investor in emerging residential sectors. It has invested in student accommodation (6,800 beds since 1998), build to rent/PRS (1,500 units since 2012) and senior living (more than 2,000 units completed/underway since 2008).

“Our first social impact investment in Manchester, supporting a charity which is providing much-needed services and support to those at risk of homelessness, is a significant milestone,” Moorfield Group Head of Special Projects Sadie Malin said. “We have invested in Manchester for many years and we are excited to showcase how we plan to invest in social projects that support our values in those cities where we are commercially active.

“We loved the work that Tors Sinclair at Bricks & Soul was doing in Manchester to bring unloved terraced houses back to life through community-focused refurbishment projects. We shared a common belief that all homes should be inspiring and uplifting spaces and in particular, our aim was to deliver such homes for the exclusive use of charitable housing providers.”