Social housing company brings neglected Hull properties to life after £1m investment boost

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 21 Feb 2018

A Hull award-winning social housing company has purchased more properties, rehoused more people and expanded training following a £1m investment boost.

Giroscope, based in west Hull, buys and renovates empty property in Hull to rent affordably to those in need and engages and trains volunteers, many of whom are at risk of social exclusion.

The charity has been able to move forward with plans to house more vulnerable people thanks to two investments from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) totalling £1m.

The firm initially invested in the Coltman Street social housing company two years ago, but recently provided a second investment to provide homes for 18 to 20 additional people.

The charity was set up in 1985 by a group of young people in response to the housing crisis that had hit deprived neighbourhoods in Hull.

Many areas had suffered following the collapse of the trawling industry and had low levels of owner occupation and poorly maintained private housing.

Read more: This well-known Hull pub is currently being demolished

Initially the charity approached SASC for social investment in 2015, when a grant application needed for the purchase of a commercial property was turned down.

SASC provided the funding for Giroscope’s expanded premises in Coltman Street, which is now a community hub where anyone can drop in for support and training including job applications.

Caroline Gore Booth, project manager at Giroscope, said: “SASC’s initial investment was crucial as we risked losing the commercial property.

A volunteer plastering at a Giroscope property

“The investment process was rigorous, but it was enjoyable, and it really helped us understand our figures. The process was also very fast, which enabled our project to go ahead - it couldn’t have happened without them.”

Giroscope now provides housing for 264 people, which is a 20 per cent increase since receiving the first investment from SASC.

Ben Rick, managing director of SASC, said: “Giroscope does really important work in the heart of the west Hull community. Breathing new life into these empty houses and renting them affordably has not only given those most in need safe and high-quality homes to live in, but it has improved the community too.

“In just two years since receiving the initial investment, the social impact Giroscope is having on the people in need within the local community is incredible.

“By creating secure homes, providing vital support and new opportunities for disadvantaged individuals, Giroscope is tangibly helping to improve the quality of their lives.”

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