Woman smiling inside house

Contento Social Homes exists to improve the support for survivors of domestic abuse and their children by providing safe accommodation and skills to improve their wellbeing.

6 years
Cost of capital
Amount invested
£267,500 (£130,000 loan, £130,000 grant, £7,500 restricted support grant)
Product type
Blended – part grant, part loan


Contento Social Homes originally worked with predominantly homeless individuals who required refuge and living support. However, during the pandemic, they started to receive a massive increase in referrals from women, particularly women trying to leave situations of domestic abuse. The refuge centers in place in Birmingham could not place these women which meant that many of them were being turned away. Contento Homes endeavoured to resolve this by renting private homes across the city that could provide housing for these women. As these were not purpose-built refuge spaces with CCTV cameras and security gates, the team had to be creative with their resources and place women in areas across the city that were as distanced as possible from the areas they were coming from.


One of the landlords of the homes they rented offered them the opportunity to buy the home, which would potentially provide the organisation and its female service users with long-term security. This is when they started to seek funding to help them with the property purchase.


Contento Social Homes' regular source of income is from local authority contracts. They received blended finance via Social Investment Business in the form of a £130,000 loan from the Recovery Loan Fund and £130,000 grant from the Flexible Finance Grant, as well as £7,500 in Restricted Support Grant.


Social investment enabled Contento Social Homes to purchase a property which offered security of tenure and a suitable home to house women fleeing abuse. They were also able to purchase a van to transport residents and pay for some vital maintenance.

“The main attraction was that the funding was part loan and part grant which would lessen the burden of what we would owe on the property”

Caroline Phansi, Chief Executive, Contento Homes

“We are pleased to have invested in Contento Homes through the Recovery Loan Fund and the Flexible Finance Grant fund. The funding enabled Contento Homes to purchase a property to house women and children escaping domestic violence as well as a van to transport belongings. Contento Homes makes a substantial impact through providing accommodation and support at a time of intense need and the organisation ensures the women and children it works with have a safe place to live as well as practical support and guidance.”

Claire Goodwin, Senior Relationship Manager, Social Investment Business