Big Society Capital invests £10m into Octopus Affordable Housing Fund


  • Big Society Capital invests £10m into Octopus Affordable Housing Fund
  • The Affordable Housing Fund has made its first acquisition of 26 homes

Octopus Investments (Octopus), part of Octopus Group, an investment manager investing in the people, ideas and industries that will change the world, today announces it has raised a further £10m into its Affordable Housing Fund (the Fund) from Big Society Capital (BSC), the UK’s leading social impact investor.

This follows the Fund announcing its first close in December, with a £50m capital raise from London CIV, the investment pool for 32 of London’s Local Government Pension Schemes.

The Fund has been set up to accelerate the UK’s much-needed delivery of good quality, affordable homes, and will ensure that new homes are built with robust sustainability standards. More energy-efficient homes not only help reduce carbon emissions, but also address fuel poverty at a time when many low-income households across the country are under severe financial strain due to the cost-of-living increases including energy price inflation.

This aligns very closely with BSC’s goal to increase the supply of social and affordable housing in the UK, particularly for the most vulnerable. Its investments to date in this area have helped to finance nearly 7,000 homes which will house over 17,000 of the hardest-pressed people in the UK [1].

The Fund has now also made its first deployment through forward funding, committing to acquire 26 homes in Great Haddon, Peterborough, from Vistry Homes. The scheme comprises eight houses and 18 flats and will offer a mix of both affordable rent and shared ownership tenures. The properties will be suitable for both couples and families and will be Energy Performance Certificate B. The scheme will serve an area of high housing need, where the provision of new affordable housing over the past four years has been less than 50% of the required amount.

Vistry are one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, with a strong track record of developing affordable homes. The homes will be owned by NewArch Homes Limited, the Fund’s Registered Provider of Social Housing. All units are expected to be delivered by April 2025.

Jack Burnham, Head of Affordable Housing at Octopus, commented:

“While the affordable housing investment market is still relatively nascent, it is growing, and we continue to receive strong demand from investors. They are attracted by the potential to generate long-dated sustainable income, low correlation to other real estate sectors and the ability to have real tangible impact.

“We are thrilled that BSC have decided to trust us with their capital. It is a sign of their conviction in the funding model and our team’s ability to execute our strategy. We also see it is a stamp of approval in terms of the impact we are trying to achieve.

“And we’re not wasting any time. To be able to deploy the first capital just five weeks after our initial fund close is something we are really proud of. We look forward to working with Vistry on building affordable homes at Great Haddon.”

Drew Ritchie, Investment Director at Big Society Capital, commented: 

“We believe that impact-driven private capital has a vital role to play in addressing the country’s housing shortage and we seek to invest in best-in-class managers and investment models that we believe can unlock capital at scale. This is one of the reasons why we have invested into Octopus’ Affordable Housing Fund, as well as its strong focus on supporting low-income families and older households to access a quality, secure and affordable home.

“We were keen to back the Fund’s equity partnerships model that can work hand-in-hand with the Housing Association sector to maintain and increase new affordable supply.  Working with Octopus has also been a welcome opportunity to explore and agree routes to strengthen Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) practice and increase representation across the fund.”

Fraser Hopes, Managing Director of Vistry Homes, commented:

“Vistry Group has made a commitment to working with partners to deliver high-quality affordable homes across the country. The sale of 26 homes at Great Haddon Wood to Octopus will help people looking to rent a home, or to buy through shared ownership and become part of this thriving new community near Peterborough. We look forward to welcoming the first residents to their homes later this year.”


Notes to Editors

  1. Big Society Capital in-house portfolio analysis, 2023

About Octopus Investments 

Octopus Investments, part of the Octopus Group, is a B Corp-certified investment company for investors who believe their money can be a force for good. We’re on a mission to invest £50 billion in the people, ideas and industries that will change the world.

Today, we invest the £13bn* our institutional investors, retail investors and their financial advisers have entrusted to us into the areas where we believe we can have the greatest impact.

We focus our efforts on three investment themes – empowering people, revitalising healthcare and building a sustainable planet – and alternative asset classes across venture capital, sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, real estate, healthcare and smaller listed companies.

*Funds under management data includes undrawn commitments, funds under advisory mandates and funds monitored. It also includes funds under the management of Octopus Renewables Limited. As of 30th September 2023

About Octopus Group 

At Octopus, we’re entrepreneurs and we’re investors, on a mission to back the people, ideas and industries that will change the world.

As entrepreneurs, we build our own businesses to address some of society’s biggest problems. Octopus Energy, our energy transition business, is the best example of this.

At our core, we believe that how a company behaves is just as important as what it does. That’s why we chose to become an accredited B Corp (the equivalent of a Fairtrade coffee stamp but for companies) and to change our Articles of Association so that the interests of all our stakeholders – employees, customers, communities, environment and shareholders – are considered in every decision we make.

Octopus Investments, Octopus Energy, Octopus Money, Octopus Australia, Seccl Technology, Aurora and Octopus Legacy are all part of Octopus Group.

About Big Society Capital

Big Society Capital is the UK’s leading social impact investor. Our mission is to grow the amount of money invested in tackling social issues and inequalities in the UK. We do this by investing our own capital and helping others invest for impact too.

Since 2012, we have helped build a market that has directed more than £9 billion into social purpose organisations tackling issues from homelessness and mental health, to childhood obesity and fuel poverty, a ten-fold increase in ten years.

For journalists in their professional capacity only. Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. The information contained within this press release does not constitute an offer or inducement to participate in a collective investment scheme, alternative investment fund or any other financial product and may not be treated as an offer or inducement in any jurisdiction where such an offer or inducement is against the law, or to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation, or if the person making the offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so. Our investments place investors’ capital at risk and they may not get back the full amount invested. This promotion does not offer investment or tax advice and this product is not suitable for everyone. We recommend investors seek independent investment and tax advice before investing in our products. Issued by Octopus Investments Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 3942880. We record our telephone calls. Issued: January 2024.