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P3 Wins Charity Times Property Innovation Award

Rachel Reeves 4 November 2021

A “new approach to finance and properties” helped P3 to win the Property Innovation title at the 2021 Charity Times Awards, CEO Mark Simms has said.

Mark also praised P3 Chief Operating Officer Jo Summers, who “overcame obstacles” in several accommodation programmes.

He explained that it had seemed “sensible” to get new homes for people once the Government’s Everyone In campaign had finished, and how P3 had teamed up with the fund manager/social enterprise Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC).

He noted: “It was much easier getting SASC on board to get a deal that worked for us both than with some of the institutional investors who think in straight lines and are interested only in replication rather than innovation; we wanted to avoid that.

“We had tried, and they were slow and talked nonsense – five-year revolving credit and 35% deposits and so on weren’t going to help us house many people. So a new approach to finance and properties, and setting up a team of talented people who could go out and buy 300 of them, was the right way for us!

“Of course, we had a couple of successful Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme and Next Steps Accommodation Programme bids to deliver too. It was a substantial risk for it, but this was managed brilliantly by our team leader, Jo Summers. She drove the programme forward and just overcame obstacles.”

P3 now intends to create a portfolio of one- and two-bedroom homes, including 34 properties in the West Midlands, 34 in Gloucestershire and 34 in Lincolnshire, with a further 110 in West Lindsey District Council. After initial investments were made, a further £11million was needed, which was raised with SASC.

Once purchased, each property is refurnished and available to people experiencing homelessness and needing a permanent housing solution.

P3 started with private rented sector (PRS) acquisition to meet immediate needs. Once the social investment raised was in place, P3 began purchasing properties in the West Midlands, followed by Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire in autumn 2020 — with plans to purchase properties over an 18-month period.

Covid created many new operational challenges, so P3 trustees approved a new five-year strategy to address them rather than continue with the original one that had not accounted for the pandemic. During Everyone In, P3 innovated to increase capacity along with rising demand, supporting nearly 1000 more people across England to find somewhere safe to stay.

The new strategy also meant focusing on the areas with known significant housing needs and continuing to cement established relationships with other bodies, all while beginning to grow a social housing portfolio.


Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash