Liverpool-based affordable housing provider Torus is already committed to spend £200m on new homes and is now to invest into local community initiatives in the wake of COVID-19. Tony McDonough reports
Affordable housing provider Torus is committing £12m to support local communities across Liverpool city region badly affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Liverpool-based Torus is already committed to spend £200m on building “genuinely affordable” homes across the North West in the next two years. The organisation says it also aims to support “local community initiatives” to “overcome inequalities”.
The majority of this investment, through its charitable arm the Torus Foundation, will be spent on critical support for older and vulnerable people and those struggling financially in the economic downturn. However, the money will also be used on programmes designed to build skills and improve the employability of local people.
The aim is to help Torus tenants through the pandemic and support them to unlock lasting potential in the long term and build more resilient communities. As the North West’s largest provider of affordable homes, Torus has been committed to helping its 74,000 customers overcome substantial inequalities since long before the current crisis.
The group’s mission of ‘growing stronger communities’ means improving and regenerating neighbourhoods is the priority. At a time when other businesses are having to cut back, Torus is increasing its investment on the back of long-term commercial success.
Chief executive Steve Coffey said: “As a social entrepreneur, our operating model is designed to generate surplus though our commercial businesses, HMS and Torus Developments. This income is then reinvested into meaningful social initiatives through our charity, Torus Foundation.
“Every property we let, every new home we build, every contract we win – every penny we make is reinvested in our communities to improve lives and life chances.”
As with businesses across the country, Torus’ operations were impacted at the height of the pandemic. Commercial subsidiaries HMS and Torus Developments were most affected.
Despite this, the urgent need to respond to their tenants and communities in crisis meant that a short-term solution built around the flexibility of the group’s operating model received wholehearted board support.
“Right now, the people living in our homes and local communities have never needed us more and significant investment is required to support those living in hardship and protect those at risk from being left behind socially and economically,” added Mr Coffey.
“We have already pledged to invest at least £5m each year through Torus Foundation. Over the next two years, we’ll be honouring that pledge together with an additional investment of £2m, aimed at immediately addressing some of the most pressing problems our communities are facing.”
The investment will be supporting Torus tenants from Liverpool, St Helens and Warrington. If you are a Torus tenant and need support with employment, finances or skills.