Boris teams with Big Issue

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is forming a partnership with Big Issue Invest to renovate empty properties into new affordable homes, whilst creating work opportunities for adults with a history of homelessness or long-term unemployment.

The Mayor has awarded a £10 million loan from his Housing Covenant to Big Issue Invest who help small community organisations to renovate empty homes or buildings to convert them into good quality affordable housing for Londoners to rent or part buy.

The funding will revolve over a 10-year period and result in up to 400 empty homes being transformed into good quality low cost housing. In addition it will provide long term unemployed people, veterans and out of work young people from across London the opportunity of employment and training in construction.

The Mayor’s Housing Covenant supports organisations proposing innovative ways of delivering affordable housing through a Revolving Fund.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “With the huge demand for housing it’s essential we get empty properties back into use, which is why I’m helping innovative projects renovate them back into much needed affordable homes. Big Issue Invest are masters of boosting community social enterprise and delivering key employment and training skills to the homeless and unemployed people who need our extra support. This funding sits alongside my affordable home programme which is on track to deliver 100,000 new low cost homes across the city.”

Speaking about the Fund, Big Issue Group’s Chair, Nigel Kershaw said “The Fund helps to extend The Big Issue’s mission of preventing and dismantling poverty and creating opportunity. That we are offering homes and employment opportunities to vulnerable people makes this so important to us, as it’s all about preventing people ending up on the streets.”

Big Issue Invest is a specialist provider of finance to social enterprises. It provides investment from £50,000 to £1.7million and develops innovative financial solutions which help organisations tackle poverty and create opportunity.

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