11 Feb SASC invests £1.65 million in Dundee Charity Positive Steps Partnership
Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) has invested £1.65 million from its Social and Sustainable Housing (SASH) fund into Positive Steps Partnership, a Dundee-based charity that has been providing supported accommodation services for vulnerable adults for over 25 years.
The charity was founded in 1989 to provide housing support for the HIV community of Dundee, many of whom faced challenges in securing accommodation due to the stigma associated with the virus. Today, it supports over 300 adults a year with addictions, mental health problems, learning disabilities, homelessness, and poverty. It also works closely with Dundee City Council delivering key services to individuals who are at risk of drug overdose and ex-offenders.
Currently, Positive Steps Partnership provides its accommodation services through 50 rented properties, but with this investment, the charity will purchase 30 properties in Dundee. Last week, it made its first property purchase, and will continue to build its portfolio over the next 18 months.
With the investment from SASH, the charity will be able to expand its existing accommodation services and support greater numbers of vulnerable young adults. The loan will also enable Positive Steps Partnership to work with new partners and agencies in the criminal justice system and provide accommodation such as short term lets for ex-offenders and others.
Derek Sharkey, CEO of Positive Steps Partnership said, “We are really excited about the investment from SASH, as it gives us the opportunity that we needed to expand and broaden our services to meet social demand and to acquire sustainable assets, without reducing our available resources.
“Over the past 25 years, we have seen a growing demand for supported accommodation – both short and long term in Dundee. We plan to quickly grow our portfolio and work with and support organisations within the criminal justice system and others to meet their accommodation demands.”
“Providing supported housing is central to helping vulnerable people to improve their prospects and move to independent living. Dundee is disproportionately affected by drug related death. Homelessness is prevalent amongst individuals who use drugs and Positive Steps Partnership recognises that having secure accommodation can represent the first step in people being able to begin recovery,” he added.
This is SASC’s 8th investment from the SASH fund, which has so far approved over £42m since the fund launched in May 2019. SASH was co-designed with borrower charities whose work with vulnerable people was being hampered through lack of access to safe, stable, and appropriate homes.
Ben Rick, Managing Director of SASC said,
“Positive Steps Partnership has been providing vital accommodation and support services for vulnerable adults in Dundee for the past 25 years. Having access to quality housing is key to helping people move on with their lives. We are delighted our investment will ensure the charity can now expand its work to meet growing demand.”