Through our Impact Bonds, we drive positive changes in rental affordability and confront persistent housing challenges. These offerings comprise Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds that target specific environmental or social housing challenges to not only make a difference for renters but also the communities in which they live.

Since 2019 when we launched our Impact Bonds, we’ve issued approximately $20 billion in Impact Bonds, all of which adhere to a defined framework and support our broader housing mission, while keeping stakeholders’ needs in mind.

In 2024, we proudly became a promotional partner with WaterSense, a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency water-efficiency program which certifies products that save at least 20% water versus standard models. The program provides resources to help individuals save money and enhance water efficiency — supporting the conservation of water for future generations. 

Additionally, I’m honored that we were recognized by Environmental Finance for the third year in a row, highlighting some of our most impactful Impact Bonds. In previous years, the recognition went to one of our Social Bonds; this year we were awarded Sustainability Bond of the Year – Agency for ML-20.

In our 2023 Impact Bonds report, we delve into the concrete ways we’ve made an impact for tenants across the nation. Our achievements made in this program are possible due to the support and partnership with market stakeholders.

Continued Transparency

Since we launched our Green Bonds program in 2019, we’ve issued $5.6 billion in Green Bonds, providing much-needed capital for environmental improvements in workforce rental housing. To offer our investors an idea of the overall impact, with this year’s report, we continue to provide transparency into the projected impacts by quantifying the property’s energy- and water-consumption reduction and cost savings through a process called measurement and verification (M&V). To date, 60 Green Up®/Green Up Plus® loans backing Green Bonds have received either an energy, water or combined M&V analysis. 

Out of 50 properties receiving an energy M&V analysis, 32 of those properties realized positive savings compared with their reported baseline utility usage prior to improvements. The average energy-efficiency improvement at those properties was 18.8%. 

Out of 46 properties receiving a water M&V analysis, 27 of those properties realized positive savings compared with their reported baseline utility usage prior to improvements. The average water-efficiency improvement at those properties was 20.1%.

Although we saw fewer borrowers opt to make green improvements last year due to challenging market conditions, resulting in lower Green Bonds issuance, supporting an environmental impact continues to be an important part of our program. Our WaterSense partnership highlights our continued commitment to supporting borrowers in making their properties more efficient. We are optimistic about the future of our green program and will evaluate enhancing the program terms to better support stakeholder needs.

Impactful Institutions

Social Bonds play a critical role in creating new affordable housing as well as rehabilitating existing affordable housing. In 2023, we issued over $2.6 billion in Social Bonds, making up a majority of our Impact Bonds combined issuance. Over $2 billion of these issuances were through our Multi PCs®, supporting targeted populations such as individuals with extremely low incomes, veterans, the aging population, individuals with disabilities, transitional housing, and those in the Rental Assistance Demonstration program.

In addition to financing affordable housing, our Social Bonds further another of our primary goals — preservation of affordability. Since introduction of our Social Bonds program in 2020, we’ve issued approximately $7.2 billion in Social Bonds, with proceeds providing liquidity to Community Development Financial Institutions, Housing Finance Agencies and Small Financial Institutions operating in underserved markets — all important partnerships in our Social Bonds program.

Two transactions of note last year are M-070, a $129.8 million transaction, and Q-024, a $134.6 million transaction, both completed with Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, a Small Financial Institution. The proceeds from these Social Bonds helped finance 42 rental properties across 15 states that serve low- to very low-income residents. As a result of M-070 and Q-024:

  • 1,492 (98.4%) of the units are affordable to tenants earning at or below 60% area median income (AMI), and 
  • 668 (44.1%) of the units are affordable to tenants earning at or below 30% AMI. 

Serving Underserved Markets

Our Sustainability Bonds program focuses on financing affordable housing that supports economic mobility for residents, spurs economic growth for communities or has an environmental impact. Our recent recognition from Environmental Finance for ML-20 underscores the importance of impact beyond the property level to support sustainable communities. Overall, since program inception in 2020, we’ve issued approximately $7.0 billion of Sustainability Bonds.

The characteristics of our Sustainability Bonds program are foundational to High Opportunity Areas (HOAs), which are often high-cost areas and sought after for the benefits they offer. Last year, the proceeds from our Sustainability Bonds helped finance 2,145 units located in HOAs, providing stable, quality housing in underserved markets.

Affecting Change

While we have accomplished a lot over the past five years, we will continue adapting and developing innovative solutions to make a measurable impact. Thanks to the support of our investors and other partners, we’re able to on work on overcoming housing challenges and addressing environmental, social and sustainability issues in the rental housing finance system. We look forward to doing more great work together to make an impact. 

Additional Resources