New social housing REIT proposes £150m float

A new supported living real estate investment trust (REIT) plans to launch targeting £150m in an initial public offering (IPO).

Independent Living REIT plc today announced its intention to launch on the London Stock Exchange through the issuance of new ordinary shares in the company by way of a placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer.

The company is targeting a dividend of 5p for the first and second financial years following admission, which it will then seek to grow progressively. The company will target an annual total return of 7% to 10% over the medium term.

Atrato Partners Limited is acting as the investment adviser to the company.

Key information

The company’s investment objective is to address the shortage of high-quality supported housing, delivering capital growth and inflation-linked income returns for its investors whilst providing a fair deal for society through savings for the UK taxpayer, and improved outcomes for residents.

Supported housing provides accommodation, alongside support, supervision or care, to help people live as independently as possible in the community.

The company will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing in a diversified portfolio of fit for purpose supported housing assets which are let to compliant tenants. The company intends to focus on the following three subsectors of supported housing:

  • Specialised Supported Housing: accommodation designed for adults with learning difficulties, mental health issues or physical disabilities and who require specialised services or support to enable them to live independently within the community;
  • Extra Care: larger blocks of flats, primarily for adults aged 55 and over. Extra Care is an alternative to care homes with the care typically provided by a specialist third party care provider; and
  • Homeless Accommodation: accommodation for people who have an immediate and unexpected housing need, including victims of domestic abuse and asylum seekers. The support required is typically at a lower level.


  • Government backed and inflation-linked income: rents funded by the Department for Work and Pensions with annual uncapped inflation linked uplifts;
  • Supports structurally under-supplied sector: addresses significant backlog of demand by leasing supported housing properties to housing associations through a new partnership model which has been designed following discussions with the Regulator of Social Housing;
  • Measurable, genuine social impact: third party consultants appointed to quantify and report the demonstrable social impact;
  • Significant savings for taxpayer: generates material savings for the UK taxpayer e.g. reduces long stay NHS hospital patients and provides wider societal savings e.g. increased employment and reduced police call outs;
  • Extensive pipeline of potential acquisition opportunities including a pipeline of £500m of assets;
  • Experienced management team and board: board of three independent non-executive directors, chaired by Fiona Miller Smith, chief executive of Barts Charity. The company will be externally managed, with Atrato Partners as investment adviser. The team brings an extensive network of relationships with all of the key stakeholders in the supported housing sector including housing associations and the regulator.


Fiona Miller Smith, chair of Independent Living REIT plc, commented: “The number of vulnerable people relying on supported housing is set to significantly increase over the coming years, whilst the structural undersupply of appropriate accommodation remains. We aim to address this rising demand and limited supply by leasing affordable, dedicated housing to housing associations via a well-governed and compliant model.

“We have specifically designed Independent Living REIT plc following extensive dialogue with the Regulator of Social Housing. Our model delivers a long-term, financially sustainable approach that benefits local authorities, residents and investors. By delivering safe housing for vulnerable members of the community, we will provide a clear and measurable impact to society.

“The company has a very strong management team backed by the successful Atrato Group platform and I am delighted to represent the company as chair.”

David Blakeborough, managing director of Atrato Partners, added: “Well-designed and appropriately priced supported housing delivers capital growth and inflation-linked income returns for investors, savings for the UK taxpayer, and improved outcomes for residents.

“Following our discussions with the regulator, we are excited to have built a model that will help address the significant shortage of high-quality supported housing in the United Kingdom.”


The company has an independent board comprising three independent non-executive directors as follows:

  • Fiona Miller Smith, chair

Fiona is CEO of Barts Charity, a role she has held since 2016. Barts Charity is a health foundation with a GBP550m financial investment and commercial property portfolio. Fiona is responsible for ensuring the charity balances risk, liquidity and returns in the management of its endowment, in addition to oversight of the charity’s ESG and responsible investment framework, ensuring alignment between the charity’s asset allocation policy and mission. Prior to this Fiona spent four years as a director at Social Finance, an FCA regulated social impact advisory firm.

Fiona serves on the board of Baronsmead Venture Trust plc, a London listed company focused on investment in early stage and growth companies, and John Lyons Charity, an educational charity with a c.GBP220m property portfolio.

Fiona started her career at Goldman Sachs in 1992 before becoming an investment director at Murray Johnstone Private Equity.

  • Louise Bonham, FCA, chair of audit committee

Louise has considerable experience in UK and EMEA property having worked for over 20 years in the industry. Louise was a member of the UK & Ireland Executive Committee of Cushman & Wakefield, where she co-headed EMEA Property Management. Louise was responsible for leading the audit, financial controls, operational risk management and governance function.

Louise was previously COO of Advisory and Transaction Services EMEA at CBRE and prior to that, in the Real Estate team at Deloitte covering Corporate Tax, Audit and Due Diligence. Louise also worked as a REIT equity analyst at Deutsche Bank.

Louise qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2005 and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

  • Sebert Cox OBE

Sebert has over 45 years’ experience in housing, policy development and corporate governance across the public, private and independent sectors.

Sebert has led two housing associations which, through mergers and acquisitions, evolved to become today’s Karbon Homes and Places for People. Sebert served as Chairman of the Places for People Group and, until recently, as Chairman for Karbon Homes.

Sebert spent over 11 years in Central Government and was honoured with an OBE for services to the Home Office. Sebert served as a panel member for the Commission for Racial Equality and is currently a non-executive director of the National Housing Federation and of Bagnall Court Limited, a Joint Venture with Bridges Fund Management to provide key worker housing.

Management team – Atrato Group Social Housing Fund Management Team

The key individuals at Atrato Group responsible for executing the company’s investment strategy are:

  • David Blakeborough, Fund Manager, Social Housing

David joined the Atrato Group in May 2022 and is the Managing Director of Atrato’s Social Housing strategy.

David has over 12 years’ experience in real estate investing. Together with Tom Still and Michael Carey, he has spent the last three years focused on the supported housing sector, creating a partnership model with housing associations which addresses the Regulator of Social Housing’s concerns, transforming private capital funding in the sector. David previously worked at Henley Investment Management and AEW UK Investment Management. During this time, David has overseen approximately GBP700m of transactions across a range of property sectors.

  • Tom Still, Assistant Fund Manager, Social Housing

Tom joined the Atrato Group in May 2022 and is a Director for Atrato’s Social Housing strategy.

Tom has 12 years of experience in the real estate sector including five in supported housing. With David and Michael, he has spent the last three years focusing on their transformational supported housing model. Tom previously worked at CBRE IM as senior fund accountant and Henley Investment Management as assistant fund manager. During Tom’s time at Henley he was responsible for deploying approximately GBP350m of equity into the supported housing space.

  • Michael Carey, Head of Investments, Social Housing

Michael joined the Atrato Group in May 2022 and is an Assistant Director for Atrato’s Social Housing strategy.

Michael has 11 years’ real estate experience including five years in supported housing. With David and Tom, he has spent the last three years focusing on their transformational supported housing model. Michael previously worked at Henley Investment Management and Artisan Real Estate.

[QD comment: The success of this new REIT will depend on the “new partnership model” that it has designed with the regulator. Regulatory issues with the financial strength and governance of the housing association tenants that the REIT will let its assets to and the leasing model (housing associations taking out long term leases whilst giving out short-term care contracts) has dogged Civitas Social Housing and Triple Point Social Housing REIT, so it will be interesting to see how Independent Living REIT will overcome these issues. The announcement is light on detail in this regard, so it is hard to cast judgment.]

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