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April 21, 2021

Impact Bonds: A 360 Approach to Our Housing Mission

Luba  Kim-Reynolds
Article By
Luba Kim-Reynolds, Director


Amidst the historic challenges of 2020, we kept a laser focus on our offerings and launched both Social and Sustainability Bonds. The targeted approach for these new bonds allows for investments to impact specific environmental and social challenges.

These customized bonds reflect our purposefulness in making tangible changes to the housing system, so that our securitization of these bonds doesn't just check boxes; it achieves the outcomes we and our investors envision.

These bonds also help solidify a 360-degree approach to our housing mission of supporting affordable housing. Our securities offer investments that positively impact not just energy and water but also affordability for renters and the economic health of communities. Here are just a few of the projected impacts described in our 2020 Impact Bonds report:

  • Water improvements are projected to save 370 million gallons in water per year – the equivalent of filling the Reflecting Pool at the Lincoln Memorial 55 times.
  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions are projected to decrease by nearly 21,400 metric tons – the equivalent of removing 4,653 cars off the road for one year.
  • Improvements are projected to save tenants an average of $261 per unit annually through lower utility costs.
  • 4% of units backing Impact Bonds are affordable to tenants earning at or below 80% area median income.
  • 7% of units backing Impact Bonds are in areas with a higher than average population of tenants with bachelor’s degrees.
  • 7% of units backing Impact Bonds are in areas where life expectancy is at or above 80 years old.

Justin Thomson, director of Multifamily Asset Management, sees the connection between our Impact Bonds and their long-term effects. "I'm thrilled to see how the great work on environmental impact not only decreases a property's footprint, but also translates to tangible benefits for tenants."

Our accomplishments last year truly underscore our commitment to impact financing and our efforts aren't going unnoticed. I'm excited to share we received a 2020 Climate Bond Award from the Climate Bonds Initiative for the Largest Green ABS Bond in 2020.

How are we doing all this? We're accomplishing our mission and meeting the needs of American families by evaluating our business model with fresh eyes and acting on every opportunity to take it to the next level. Our Impact Bonds Frameworks act as a road map for how we manage proceeds, evaluate projects and report on outcomes with transparency. This enables us to strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones, bringing stakeholders from every part of the industry together. In 2021 and beyond, we'll continue to take our impact further.

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