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Mobilising Impact Investment for Social Housing

Wed Oct. 21st 2020


Mobilising Impact Investment for Social Housing 

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The seminar looked at the development of an innovative Salvation Army Community Bond for the creation of 118 secure houses for families without homes, and whether there is scope for similar impact investment partnerships to scale up funding for social housing in the future.

The panel members were crucial in the development of the financing:

- Fiona Matthews, National Operations Manager of Salvation Army Social Housing

- Paul Gilberd, General Manager of Community Finance

- Sam Goldwater, Portfolio Manager, Director & Investment Committee Member from Generate Investment Management

    Fiona anchored the discussion in the unmet needs for social housing. Community-oriented social housing create multiple benefits from for those without secure housing. She described the experience of seeing someone who hadn’t had secure housing finally being able to have their own home. The community housing sector plays a crucial role to fill in the gaps that are not able to be provided by the government or the market.

    Paul talked about the ways that a finance package was structured for this development and for social housing more generally. There is more that can be done to satisfy the unmet needs for social housing through, for example, Council requiring housing developers to include an allocation to social housing. In community housing development, collaboration is essential, including community housing providers, Councils, churches, iwi, philanthropic funding and, in this case, mainstream finance.

    Sam outlined the rationale for Generate KiwiSaver to invest in the social housing bond as a sound financial decision, as well as creating social benefits. Most of the investments in KiwiSaver funds are long term, so providers like Generate can take a long term perspective and include some of these types of investments as well as investing in listed companies.

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