This week we are very pleased to introduce the latest member of our team, Amy Varle. Amy is a fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, social entrepreneur and the founder of Social Property Investment, an affordable housing strategy with the aim of reducing homelessness in Britain.
For the next few months, Amy will be out in the field, visiting development projects and interviewing specialists in their respective fields, in all areas of property investment, to bring you the latest industry advice and news.
But first, in this series, Amy will be telling her story, giving you the background to her research into homelessness and housing and explaining how she came to found Social Property Investment.
- Part 1 – Introducing Amy Varle
- Part 2 – The Local Housing Allowance ‘Strategy’
- Part 3 – Housing the Homeless (Manchester Pilot Scheme)
- Part 4 – Social Property Investment
- Part 5 – Housing 2.0 (Lessons from the USA)
- Part 6 – Shared Living In The USA and UK
I’m so thrilled to announce my association with Property Investments UK and to be working alongside Rob Jones and his team!
We share a collective vision to make great-quality property education more accessible and are collaborating to bring our collective network of contacts and colleagues – and their specialist knowledge – directly to you.
Coming Up On Property Investments UK
Over the coming months, we’ll be working together to enhance the Property Investments UK website with lots of fresh, new, valuable content.
I’ll be out on the road, connecting with experts, specialists and industry leaders across the UK as they share insider tips, tricks, guidance and techniques for property investment success in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.
We’ll be showcasing a diverse range of inspiring property projects as they unfold; going live, on-site to walk through case studies of new builds, refurbishments, conversions – and everything in-between.
I’ll be chatting to those who excel at sales and lettings, exploring the serviced accommodation market, interviewing creators of boutique HMOs and seeking out the very best property and tenant managers.
We’ll keep you abreast of industry trends and developments, such as Clause 24, the letting agency ‘fee ban’ and the passing of the Homelessness Reduction Bill.
Social Property Investment
Aligning with Property Investments UK means the opportunity to share more about my own specialism of ‘Social Property Investment’ – an affordable housing strategy I’ve been developing over the last few years with the aim of reducing homelessness in Britain.
As part of the practical research projects I’ve facilitated, since 2013 I’ve worked at both a strategic and an operational level to trial new concepts and ideas for affordable and sustainable housing solutions in Britain.
My unique professional position has taken me from the streets, squats and hostels of Manchester, all the way to the notoriously dangerous sidewalks of Skid Row in Los Angeles.
This has allowed me to visit the most innovative housing projects in San Francisco and learn from the most pioneering respondents to homelessness in New York.
I feel blessed each day to do what I do and am so excited to be revealing more about my day-to-day life as I work to launch social property investment strategies into the marketplace for wider testing.
My early working life wasn’t quite so interesting – I was employed in a council role for the largest part of my career!
there I was supporting the management of tenancies for vulnerable individuals ranging from those with severe mental health issues to asylum seekers and children leaving care.
It was a varied and challenging role.
In 2013, feeling frustrated with local government limitations and their typically outdated responses to homelessness, I became independent with the aim of making privately-rented accommodation more accessible to welfare claimants while simultaneously increasing investor confidence within this section of the marketplace.
Homelessness In Manchester
Spending the next couple of years researching homelessness response across the city of Manchester and its surrounding regions, I engaged with the public, private, third and voluntary sectors to explore existing – and potentially new – accommodation and support solutions for those in housing need.
I worked practically to find alternative options, assisting in the provision of homes for rough sleepers, sofa-surfers and those in temporary accommodation, as well as mediating between landlords and their tenants in an attempt to prevent inevitable evictions.
We had some great successes – and as you would imagine, some major catastrophes…
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
In 2016, I was awarded a Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, enabling me to enhance my learning experiences for the benefit of others and explore the international approach to homelessness which had inspired much of my work for the previous few years.
My educational road-trip across the USA was an incredible life-changing experience which has allowed me to connect with – and learn from – pioneers and industry leaders across the globe.
Social Property Investment: Pioneering Strategies for 21st Century Homelessness Prevention and Response
Correlating all of my research to date, ‘Social Property Investment: Pioneering Strategies for 21st Century Homelessness Prevention and Response’ is due for public release in the Autumn of 2017.
From here, I plan to launch concepts for testing in simultaneous UK/USA pilot schemes, aligning excellent practice via a global network of knowledge exchange. Our shared goal is to collectively set the benchmark for the efficient, effective and compassionate address of homelessness across developed nations.
Going Back Out Into The Marketplace
I have had some wonderful moments and experiences since I was chosen to take this path.
I was welcomed with open arms into the private rented sector back in 2013 and have gained many friends and supporters along the way.
My experiences have taught me that solutions to challenges can almost always be found by seeking the answers in others and working effectively together – and I feel strongly that our private investment market has much to offer in terms of reshaping the way that affordable home delivery in the UK operates.
Over the coming months, I’ll be going out into the marketplace to immerse myself in property investment, just like I did when starting out back in 2013.
This time, I’ll be documenting as I go and continually engaging with you via social media to share all I learn along the way.
Get In Touch
I’ll be on hand to answer your questions if you leave them in the comments section below. And, if there are any topics you’d like exploring with the experts I’ll be meeting then don’t hesitate to get in touch either here or on the Property Investments UK Facebook page.
Thanks for reading!