Chris Roberts, Lotus, P.Russ Cockburn
Chris Roberts, acquisitions and investment manager at Lotus Credit: Lotu

Lotus hires acquisitions manager to drive £250m investment push 

Dan Whelan

The community interest company, which provides accommodation for vulnerable people, has appointed Chris Roberts to identify opportunities to grow its portfolio to 10,000 bedrooms by the end of 2023. 

Wolverhampton-based Lotus Sanctuary currently has a portfolio of 1,000 beds, but hopes to leverage £250m from private investors to increase this figure tenfold over the next two and a half years. 

“We have very ambitious expansion targets that we want to hit as soon as possible, and private investors and property funds will play a key role in making this happen,” explained Roberts. 

Prior to joining Lotus, Roberts spent five years at Manchester-based property management firm Rendall & Rittner as business development manager. 

As Lotus’ acquisitions and investment manager, he will be responsible for building relationships with multi-national property funds, buy-to-let investors and social investment firms, to leverage funding to lease a mixture of apartment blocks and smaller buildings across the country, including the North West. 

Lotus typically signs 20-year leases on accommodation and pays rent to the landlords, providing them with a “guaranteed income”, according to Roberts.

Local authorities then pay Lotus to provide beds and support to homeless people, ex-offenders, and victims of domestic violence, offsetting the company’s costs.

“Educating investors will be key, as the sector is still relatively new to the [Lotus concept],” Roberts added. 

“In essence, we are the safest investment they can make, we even look after day-to-day management and ensure buildings are being well looked after and maintained.” 

As well as providing accommodation, Lotus offers wraparound support to residents, providing a “bespoke pathway to independence”. 

Gurpaal Singh Judge, chief executive of Lotus Sanctuary, said: “We have a real opportunity to deliver a new solution to the homeless situation in England and local authorities are increasingly looking to engage with us as they are seeing the benefit of our model.” 

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Nice one Chris. Wishing you all the best of luck

By Jamie