Amy Varle is a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, a social entrepreneur, and the founder of Social Property Investment; an affordable housing strategy with the aim of reducing homelessness in Britain.

For well over a decade Amy has worked in affordable housing and social housing with the public, private and third sectors.

Now, her role is primarily as a facilitator, helping landlords and property investors connect with local authorities, with charities, with not for profit organisations, housing associations, voluntary groups, street teams and food banks.

This is all with the aim of making it easier and more profitable for property investors to house vulnerable tenants such as those who are homeless, in hostels, sleeping on friends’ couches or living on the streets.

Ultimately, her experience illustrates that landlords and investors with a property portfolio shouldn’t be nervous about extending an arm to tenants in difficulty.

Although the system is complex, there is a large support network for landlords who are inclined to lend their property to a social property project.

But it isn’t all about charity, by any means. Amy’s role is to guarantee, as best she can, that all risks, inherent in such projects, are mitigated by good planning and shared responsibility by all involved parties.

She not only plans to make sure that the tenant is fully supported with regard to their particular needs and the long-term success of their tenancy but also works to protect the landlord’s assets and their income.

With the right planning and the involvement of the right people and organisations, a social property can be very profitable and pain-free.

We all know that there is a housing crisis, that homelessness is spiking; that there is a desperate need for new-build housing.

In response to these circumstances, local authorities, charities and housing associations are becoming a lot more flexible in their thinking and there are many new policies and initiatives (such as the Housing First strategy) which are coming into play.

Amy is trying to create an environment where the private sector, where private landlords, have a much greater role in solving the social and infrastructure problems that the UK is facing today.

Of course, she wants to make it easier for vulnerable tenants to find rented homes but not at the expense of the investor’s bottom line.

She recognises that in order for any project to work it must be beneficial for everyone and that means it must be lucrative for those that are putting their money into it.

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