Government unveils two social impact bonds totalling up to £8m

The London project will help homeless people; the Essex project will support adolescents at risk

The government has announced two new social impact bonds worth a total of up to £8m to combat homelessness in London and support adolescents at risk of being taken into care in Essex.

The London project, commissioned by the Greater London Authority and funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, will work with 831 rough sleepers over a three-year period.

The homelessness charities Thames Reach and St Mungo’s will deliver the service. They will be paid for meeting various goals, including reducing the number of people sleeping rough, moving certain numbers of people into settled accommodation and reducing the number of visits to A&E by homeless people. The bond will be worth up to £5m.

The Essex project, funded by Essex County Council, will work with about 100 young people aged 11 to 16 who are at risk of being taken into care.The programme will be carried out by Action for Children.

Success will be measured by the reduction in days spent in care by the adolescents, improved school outcomes, wellbeing and reduced reoffending. The project has raised £3.1m from investors including Bridges Ventures and Big Society Capital.

Peter Martin, leader of Essex County Council, said that he was keen to support the social impact bond model and that he had a list of up to 15 other projects that he would be keen to fund in the same way.

In both cases, the projects will initially be funded by social investors, with government paying only for success in achieving the outcomes they have set. Both projects will be managed by Social Finance, the organisation that originally created the concept of the social impact bond.

David Ainsworth recommends

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