Grand Union Housing Group


Managing social housing to combat high homelessness prevalence across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire.


Key information

  • Focus area

    Social property
  • Investment type

  • Region

    UK wide
  • Investment amount

    £20 million
  • Challenge

    The housing crisis has been felt particularly hard in the Southeast of England. Outside the capital, Shelter estimates that Milton Keynes has the fourth highest homelessness rate in the country [1].  High housing costs are of particular concern for key workers and their families, with 1 million children of key workers in the UK estimated to be living in poverty. This includes nurses, teachers and others who are providing vital services to people across the UK.

  • Approach

    Grand Union is a housing association which provides various tenures of affordable housing for people on varying incoming levels. It partners with real estate investor Man Group to manage affordable, high-quality rental housing as part of a solution to the housing crisis. An investment of £20m from the Man GPM Community Housing Fund enabled the acquisition of 79 new homes in the Campbell Wharf development in Milton Keynes. In 2022, Grand Union took over the management of these homes, where it is currently offering rent to key workers at an affordable rate - 80% of the market rate.

  • Revenue Model

    The development is financed by rental income, which is indexed to CPI Homes England also offers grant funding to contribute to maintenance of properties, ensuring that is affordable. Due to the lack of suitable affordable housing in the area and nationwide, the units will consistently be filled, and the impact audit encourages an environment with tenants who are happy and therefore unlikely to withhold rent.

  • Impact

    The site consists of 79 properties available at affordable prices for key workers and those on lower incomes. The impact performance of Man Group’s investments is consistently measured by an annual audit, currently conducted by Sheffield Hallam University. The audit measures the performance in delivering homes in underserved areas but also the number of complaints raise by tenants as well as the satisfaction and security levels felt by households.

  • This is my first flat ever, so I love the independence. The best thing about living in Campbell Wharf is the safety, as a single female, and also the location.

    Eileen Grand Union


    Campbell Wharf Resident

Investing in quality and affordable homes for key workers using impact capital

The Man GPM RI Community Housing strategy aims to address this by delivering 1,295 new homes by 2026, 90% of which will be affordable (social rent, affordable rent, key worker and shared ownership).

For example, Grand Union Housing Group has this year built 79 new homes at 100% affordable rent in Milton Keynes for tenants such as Eileen, who says “This is my first flat – I love the independence”.

Watch the full video to learn more about the role investment has to play.