In early 2015, HS Property Group (now ‘HSPG’) was founded by Manchester-based school friends, Guy Horne and David Searle. They set out to solve the UK homeless crisis, believing everyone should have access to a comfortable and safe home. Simultaneously, they noticed a gap in the market for social impact investors looking to access residential property investment opportunities delivering positive outcomes for the most vulnerable members of society.
By February, the pair had acquired their first buy-to-let, below market value, terraced property in Moston, Manchester. The property was refurbished and subsequently let to a homeless family.
Summer 2015 – Guy and David delivered their first property for a social housing provider. They coordinated the redevelopment of a derelict property in Salford into a small HMO – suitable for occupation for asylum seekers. It was secured by a long lease to an established, government-backed provider.
After working with a growing number of landlords, the focus expanded to include both the residents’ and investors’ needs. With a new goal of facilitating simple, hands-off property management, Housing Social was formed. The team grew from 2 to 4 as they partnered with Manchester City Council to provide high-quality, temporary accommodation for Greater Manchester’s homeless families, whilst offering landlords a guaranteed rental income with no management fees.
In early 2017, an income producing freehold block of 18 apartments was acquired as the first of its kind, value-add project for the business.
In the summer of the same year, the guys completed a mixed-use development of office and luxury residential space in Manchester City Centre’s unique and characteristic Northern Quarter.
In 2018, the pair made national headlines by completing the first ever residential property sale in the UK using blockchain technology. This forward-thinking nature intrigued many as the business continued to challenge the norms and expand into areas they believed in.
The team grew as HSPG brought all of their development and refurbishment in-house, creating a more comprehensive experience for their partners. Ensuring the highest standards were maintained for their residents and newly-formed institutional investment partners, as they exited a portfolio to a UK listed, social housing REIT for the first time.
In the summer, Guy appeared on Sky News to raise awareness of homelessness in the city of Manchester, whilst the team hit the street and provided over 500 cans of water to help our homeless community in one of the hottest summers on record. After reaching a headcount of 18, the team moved into newly acquired, modern office space set within a beautiful, Grade-II listed building, after HSPG added a further 35,000 sqft. to their city centre commercial portfolio.
HSPG secured a £30m revolving credit loan facility with Together Money to fund their growing pipeline of social housing projects around the UK. By this point, the business had invested over £100m into the social housing sector. The facility enabled further acquisitions and refurbishment of housing for our partners, to grow the provision of supported and homeless housing throughout the UK.
Winter 2020 – HSPG acquired Park Properties Housing Association to facilitate Affordable Housing for those people whose needs are not met by the open market. The team began to purchase affordable home schemes across England from national housebuilders and developers to deliver new housing for Shared Ownership and low-cost rental homes.
The demand for social housing is ever increasing, leading to HSPG growing in 2020 from 18 staff members to 35. The team finished the year with a fully functioning marketing, operations and finance department to support the main business vision.