London Missional Housing Bond: first ‘missional house’ announced
In 2013, a new partnership of Christian organisations launched the first ever London Missional Housing Bond.
Today we are announcing that this first Bond successfully raised nearly £400,000 of capital.
We are also announcing that, after a rigorous assessment process, we will be using these funds to purchase our first ‘missional house’ in the Anglican parish of St Peter with St Thomas, Bethnal Green in Tower Hamlets to support the mission of the Church.
The London Missional Housing Bond has been developed and launched by a partnership of Christian organisations – the Contextual Theology Centre, the London Diocesan Fund (Diocese of London), the Eden Network and Affordable Christian Housing.
The Bond was launched in 2013 by the Bishop of London and has secured investments from individuals, churches and charitable trusts. Investors put their money in for up to five years, in return for which they earn up to 2% interest per year.
The Bond is a social investment, to support Christian mission in deprived communities in London. The cost of housing is now so high in London that it is impeding the ability of churches to employ workers, even in disadvantaged areas. The Bond will allow low-cost rented housing to be made available for missional workers.
How it works
The funds are held by Affordable Christian Housing (a Housing Association), on behalf of the partnership, and they will be purchasing the missional house in due course.
The opportunity to become the ‘local partner’ to the Housing Bond was advertised in the autumn of 2013 and churches were invited to make proposals. A number of proposals were received and after a rigorous assessment process by the partnership, St Peter’s was selected.
The parish of St Peter’s will sign a formal agreement and be allowed to use the house for the next four years to house missional workers who are actively engaged in the mission of the parish. These workers will pay a social rent (c. 40% below market rent). The rent is then used to pay the interest to Bond investors and also to cover the modest running costs of the Bond itself.
The Housing Bond is an innovative pilot project which aims to provide low-cost rented housing for missional workers. It also aims to change attitudes and practices in the Church towards seeing social investment as a natural complement to more conventional giving.
Partners are currently developing plans for a second London Missional Housing Bond to be launched later in 2014. More information will be made available when plans are finalised.
Find out more on the the Housing Bond website.