"We are excited to be able to offer UK consumers the chance to enjoy saving and investing in an ISA that will make a real difference to peoples lives."
Lee Birkett, Founder and Chief Executive of JustUs
Ethical peer-to-peer lending platform JustUs has launched an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) investing in projects to build individual homes for some of the UK’s most vulnerable.
Funds in the ISA will be used to renovate and develop new houses for residents with learning disabilities or those that require 24/7 care.
The IFISA will pay interest of 6.5% to investors whilst providing a bridging loan to accredited developers for up to 70% of the open market value or purchase price, whichever is lower.
Accredited developers bring the property up to the required specification in conjunction with occupational therapists. The council or housing association will agree long term 20 to 30 year leases for individual long term care needs. Property acquisition will then be completed by long term financial institutions and JustUs lenders will be repaid in full.
Founder and Chief Executive of JustUs, Lee Birkett, said: “We are excited to be able to offer UK consumers the chance to enjoy saving and investing in an ISA that will make a real difference to people’s lives.
“At JustUs we have always been passionate about delivering positive outcomes for people from all walks of life. In the UK, there is a housing crisis and this is even more critical for those in a vulnerable position – requiring round the clock care or specially adapted homes.
“Over the next 24 months we’re aiming to fund 100 properties on the platform. Local government institutions have already been contracted to lease these properties once they are developed in conjunction with occupational therapists and the families involved. This project will transform the lives of many and we’re incredibly proud to be involved.”
The new IFISA will pay monthly interest, with no fees, and the loans are covered by a first legal charge over the security of the properties. All JustUs cash is held within the new ring-fenced Barclays Bank UK PLC.
All earnings in the JustUs IFISAs are tax-free, up to the standard £20,000 annual ISA allowance. Existing ISAs can be transferred to the JustUs IFISA quickly and simply.
When it comes to risk and protections for clients’ money, JustUs is one of the few peer-to-peer lenders that has maintained full transparency since its inception in 2016.
Birkett and his backers, who include advertising agency boss turned angel investor Sir John Hegarty via his business incubator The Garage, Soho, believe that with interest rates still at a record low, new products for savers are urgently required.