Civitas Social Housing has seen its share price rise 11% in three years 

Civitas Social Housing specialises in supported homes. Bigger and more established than Triple Point, the group has a nationwide portfolio of more than 600 sites catering for 4,200 people.

Many residents have similar conditions to those at Triple Point’s properties, but Civitas also provides homes for people with more acute needs, such as serious brain injuries or chronic drug addiction.

Midas recommended Civitas in 2017, when the group was offering new shares at £1 each and the annual dividend was 3p. 

Civitas Social Housing caters for 4,200 people at present

Civitas Social Housing caters for 4,200 people at present

Civitas Social Housing caters for 4,200 people at present 

There has been considerable expansion since then. The shares are now £1.11 and last month Civitas confirmed a first quarter dividend of 1.35p, implying a total dividend of 5.4p for the year to March 31, 2021.

Group director Andrew Dawber and social housing boss Paul Bridge are acutely conscious of both the need to deliver shareholder returns and the duty of care they owe to the people who live in their accommodation.

Bridge has worked in social housing for years and the company is staffed with experts in special needs. 

Even though Civitas is not involved in providing care itself, understanding the sector means the group is well equipped to know how homes should be fitted so they provide maximum benefit to residents and their carers.

New homes include facilities such as sensory rooms to calm autistic residents, as well as plenty of outside space and help for those with physical disabilities. 

Like Triple Point, Civitas creates properties that are very different from traditional care homes, with a focus on smaller, individually focused homes rather than large-scale institutional living.

This came into its own at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, limiting cases among residents and carers.

The company also provides housing for homeless people and helped out during lockdown when taking people off the street was even more important than usual.

Looking ahead, Civitas is keen to work with local authorities to provide centrally located homes for key workers, such as fire fighters and teachers. This could develop into another secure, long-term income stream.

Midas verdict: In the past three years, Civitas shares have risen 11 per cent and the stock has delivered healthy dividends. 

Shareholders should stick with the group. Other investors should keep Civitas on their radar, as it may return to the market for more cash, in which case new shares could be offered at a discount to the prevailing price.

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