John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, invested $5 million in Women in Safe Homes, a U.K.-based social impact property fund, spokeswoman Maria Speiser confirmed in an email.
The $7.2 billion foundation is one of the initial investors in the new fund managed by U.K. real estate manager Patron Capital Partners and social impact investment company Resonance.
According to a joint news release from the two firms Thursday, the fund was created "as a solution to the lack of affordable, safe and secure homes for women who are experiencing homelessness, have been involved with the criminal justice system, are survivors of domestic abuse or have other complex needs."
The fund will purchase properties and lease them to women's organizations and homelessness charities, and the goal is to provide up to 650 affordable homes, according to the news release.
The fundraising target is £100 million ($132 million), and it launched with an initial investment of £15.5 million, according to the news release. Other investors include U.K. social impact investor Big Society Capital and Keith Breslauer, managing director and senior partner of Patron Capital.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Big Society Capital and others in supporting the Women in Safe Homes fund and its innovative model for meeting the critical housing needs of women and children who are survivors of domestic abuse, have been involved in the criminal justice system, or are experiencing homelessness," said Debra Schwartz, managing director of impact investments at MacArthur Foundation, in the news release. "As part of a select portfolio of investments we have been building through our Catalytic Capital Consortium initiative, this fund clearly demonstrates the power of catalytic capital to help build a more just, equitable and resilient world."