Could Property Development Have a Social Purpose? Property Development | Property Investment 15th February 2018 | By Colin Moloney Commercial property development can be a great money maker when done right, but what if it could also gentrify the area and do some good at the same time? Well, developing with a social conscious and community-focused mind could mean you achieve both. Developing with the Community in Mind Yes, there is a great housing shortage in the UK, but with more and more properties being built, there is also a need for community services such as community centres, care homes, and purpose-built student accommodation. A great example of a development operating on this wave of thought is the 120-acre multi-award winning Great Kneighton development in Trumpington near Cambridge. Now mid-way through, the new ‘town’ will have 2,500 new homes, as well as a children’s play area, skate park, 1km trim trail, community square, community centre, health centre, library and shops. As an added bonus to the local community, with these new facilities will come jobs, not only to help build them, but to run and maintain these buildings once completed. Developing Property with Care A recent story by Startups.co.uk revealed that, with Britain’s aging population, the strain on care facilities is increasing which means there is particularly high demand for specialist housing. It stated that 2018 was the year that experts predict the disparity between the number of beds needed and those available will hit crisis levels. Property consultants JLL claim that by the end of 2018 there will be up to 3,000 elderly Brits unable to get a bed at a care home. In line with current growth, 14,000 extra places will be needed every year as of 2026. So, there is demand, but what about funding for care home development? Well, our commercial finance brokers can of course help you secure the funds you need. However, there are also bursaries available from local authorities. Back in 2017, the Department of Health revealed an extra £2 billion “to maintain access for our growing ageing population” in England until 2020. Whereas crowdfunding is rather popular in this sector too. This doesn’t necessarily mean providing services for just the elderly. Many care services are required for teenagers and adults with disabilities, mental health illnesses or behavioural issues also. Knight Frank’s May 2017 specialist property market report revealed that locations along the M25 and M4 corridor are particularly strong for opportunities. Of course, this will mean applying for certain licenses and approvals, however this can be offset by long-term operational care fees and leisure business returns. In fact, according to One Touch Property Investment, investors can expect net yields of up to 10% per annum from investing in UK care home suites at ‘luxury’ retirement homes. Whereas development group Berkley reportedly make £30,000 profit per bed, with £2million in profit per high-end care home development. Invest with a Social Conscience Whether you’re looking to make a large or small commercial property investment, in housing, public buildings or business premises, contact our development finance brokers to find out how we could secure you the finance you need to get your project off the ground. Read more: Is Planning Permission Being Granted in the Places That Need it Most? What’s the Difference Between Development Funding and Refurbishment Finance? I’ve Bought a Plot of Land… Now What?