Social and Sustainable Capital invests in The Baca Charity
Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC), a UK fund manager and social enterprise, has made an investment from its Social and Sustainable Housing (SASH) fund into The Baca Charity (Baca), a social enterprise in Loughborough, which provides supported accommodation, education and training for young unaccompanied asylum seekers aged between 16 and 18 years old.
The Government received 3,496 applications from unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) in the year ending in June 2019, up 39 per cent compared to 2018, and these applications accounted for 11 per cent of total asylum applications in the last year.
Many of Baca’s beneficiaries are victims of trafficking and its mission is to ensure they are welcomed, feel safe, and they can rebuild their lives, integrate into a community and use their experience positively. Providing them with high quality and sustainable housing is essential for this.
Currently, Baca offers a range of rental accommodation including new arrival houses, semi-independent learning houses and post-18 accommodation. With SASC’s loan, it will be able to purchase the properties it rents as well as three additional one-bed flats which will enable move-on accommodation to be provided to its beneficiaries for the first time.
Demand for Baca’s services has grown in recent years. In 2015, the charity supported 12 migrants and this figure rose to 27 in 2019. The loan will help address the gap in accommodation services for young asylum seekers and enable the charity to offer a broader range of sustainable housing to meet growing demand and to support its beneficiaries for a longer period.
Ben Rick, Managing Director of SASC, says: “Baca has operated a specialist service for young forced migrants for 10 years and it is a leader in this field. We are delighted to invest in the charity, at a time when demand for their services is growing.
“Property ownership will reduce Baca’s reliance on rental properties, which are often in short supply and at inflated prices due to a large student population in Loughborough. The charity’s housing provision will be become broader and more sustainable, enabling it to increase its impact and help more vulnerable asylum-seeking children settle safely in the UK.”
Jimmy Zachariah, CEO, Baca, says: “We are delighted to partner with Social and Sustainable Capital and receive this investment from its SASH fund. At Baca, we seek to invest in and shape the futures of highly vulnerable unaccompanied young people who are victims of trafficking and seeking refuge. This investment will enable Baca to ensure these young people have a safe home to live in during their stay with us. A safe home to live is a fundamental basic human need. This safe place will provide the much needed foundation for our young people to rebuild their lives and become positive, empowered individuals who can integrate into communities and contribute to society. “
This is SASC’s sixth investment from the SASH fund, which was co-designed with borrower charities whose work with vulnerable people was being hampered through lack of access to safe, stable and appropriate homes.
SASH offers loans between GBP2 million and GBP5 million. The structure offers a unique new financial product that is neither a mortgage nor a lease but offers an alternative for social sector organisations to buy their own properties.
The fund has received considerable support, which continues to grow. It launched with over GBP26.5 million of commitments from 19 investors, with target fundraising set at GBP100 million. This will allow SASC to put 1,000 houses in the hands of the third sector and house 10,000 vulnerable people over the next 10 years.