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ROUNDING OUT OUR Q&A SERIES WITH FURTHER INSIGHTS FROM AN IMPACT OWNER-INVESTOR

Jeff Brenner By Jeff Brenner, CEO, IMPACT Community Capital

Many of today’s institutional investors are familiar with the growth of impact investing, and many more seek a better understanding of this vital and growing sector. To illuminate the opportunities and challenges of impact investing, IMPACT Community Capital (“IMPACT”) has asked some of its owners—institutional investors who embraced impact investing as early pioneers—to share their perspectives. We think now is the right time for this opportunity and we hope this series deepens your knowledge of what impact investing means, how it fits into an institutional investment approach, and what questions your organization should answer when deciding how to invest for impact. Tony Tomich serves as Head of Pension Investments at Farmers Insurance®,...

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Q&A SERIES: ANOTHER IMPACT OWNER OFFERS AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT INVESTING FOR IMPACT.

Jeff Brenner By Jeff Brenner, CEO, IMPACT Community Capital

Many of today’s institutional investors are familiar with the growth of impact investing, and yet many more seek to better understand this vital and growing sector. To illuminate the opportunities and challenges of impact investing, IMPACT Community Capital (“IMPACT”) has asked some of its owners—institutional investors who embraced impact investing as early pioneers—to share their perspectives. We think now is the right time for this opportunity and we hope this series deepens your knowledge of what impact investing means, how it fits into an institutional investment approach, and what questions your organization should answer when deciding whether to invest for impact. Violet Osterberg serves as Managing Director at Pacific Life Insurance Company....

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Q&A SERIES: INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS OFFER AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE OPPORTUNITES AND CHALLENGES OF INVESTING FOR IMPACT.

Jeff Brenner By Jeff Brenner, CEO, IMPACT Community Capital

Many of today’s institutional investors are familiar with the growth of impact investing, and yet many more seek to better understand this vital and growing sector. To illuminate the opportunities and challenges of impact investing, IMPACT Community Capital (“IMPACT”) has asked some of its owners—institutional investors who embraced impact investing as early pioneers—to share their perspectives. We think now is the right time for this opportunity and we hope this series deepens your knowledge of what impact investing means, how it fits into an institutional investment approach, and what questions your organization should answer when deciding whether to invest for impact. Rekha Unnithan leads the private markets impact investing team at Nuveen...

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ADDRESSING AMERICA’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING CHALLENGE THROUGH SMALL TAX-EXEMPT FINANCING

Andrew Zimmerman By Andrew Zimmerman, Manager, Investments, IMPACT Community Capital

Small tax-exempt multifamily transactions (less than $10 million) are a niche market that can have an important impact on the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing in the U.S. That was the message that I was pleased to share as part of a “Multifamily Bond Financing Seminar” at the recent 2019 Housing Credit Conference. The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created by state Housing Financing Agencies (HFAs) to advance affordable housing to those who need it, recently held a national conference focused on providing low income housing solutions. I participated on a panel of recognized experts representing the housing, legal and finance communities discussing how...

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REFLECTING UPON OUR RECENT PENSIONS & INVESTMENTS ROUNDTABLE.

Jeff Brenner By Jeff Brenner, CEO, IMPACT Community Capital

Over the past 25 years I’ve worked to align investing with purpose. I’ve always found it incredibly valuable to share ideas with other impact advocates to learn what challenges they face and how they tackle them. To that end, I was pleased to join Raj Shant, Portfolio Manager at Newton Asset Management, and Alex Bernhardt, Principal and Leader of Responsible Investing at Mercer, for a recent Roundtable Discussion in Pensions & Investments (​Tackling the Challenges of ESG Investing as Opportunities Expand Across Asset Classes​). Reflecting back on this discussion concerning the evolution of ESG and impact investing, a few observations stand out about current trends in impact investing. First, as asset owners...

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IMPACT partners with Freddie Mac on innovative solution to drive more capital for affordable housing.

Jeff Brenner By Jeff Brenner, CEO, IMPACT Community Capital

Today, there is an absolute shortage of 3.7 million units of housing for extremely low income (ELI) renters.1 According to HUD’s website, approximately 109,000 Low Income Housing Tax Credit units on average were placed in service annually between 1995 to 2016. At this rate, it will take 34 years to build the number of units needed for ELI renters. Clearly it will require capital in significant scale to address this problem with greater urgency. We are excited to announce that IMPACT has partnered with Freddie Mac on a new effort to spur further investment in affordable housing. Relying on an existing Freddie Mac security structure, the newly created Private Placement PC Swap...

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WHY IMPACT MAY OFFER STABILITY IN AN INSTITUTION’S FIXED-INCOME PORTFOLIO.

Andrew Zimmerman By Andrew Zimmerman, Manager, Investments, IMPACT Community Capital

Volatility returned late last year and may persist for the foreseeable future. A well-diversified portfolio will help to manage such market ups and downs, and an allocation to fixed income can provide a reliable stream of income during periods of market uncertainty. With such strategies in mind, we believe there is an underexposed part of the market that may be attractive for institutional investors: impact investing focused specifically on affordable housing mortgages. While many investors use impact strategies to fulfill a desire to promote social good, we believe that affordable housing has built-in characteristics (along with the low correlation we’ve discussed in previous posts) that make affordable housing debt a source for...

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THE OPPORTUNITIES OF INVESTING IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING: PART 2.

Paul Hwang By Paul Hwang, Investment Analyst, IMPACT Community Capital

In our last blog, IMPACT presented analysis of the performance potential of affordable housing investments in the post-2008 era. In this follow-up blog post, we’ll examine another opportunity for institutional investors seeking entry into impact investing: The diversification attributes of affordable housing investments. As a sub-sector of the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market, affordable housing offers additional diversification due to particular characteristics attributable to the affordable housing sector. Generally, that the MBS sector has benefited from strong U.S. real estate fundamentals and favorable supply/demand dynamics; further, the affordable housing sub-sector also benefits from the support of federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) and steady demand for low-income housing. The results have demonstrated solid...

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THE OPPORTUNITIES OF INVESTING IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING: PART 1.

Paul Hwang By Paul Hwang, Investment Analyst, IMPACT Community Capital

Impact investing has grown beyond equity investments to include opportunities through fixed income investments. Along with green bonds, affordable housing investments are increasingly in the news and, not surprisingly at IMPACT, we believe the business case for these investments in appropriate circumstances, supports the buzz. In this blog and an upcoming companion, we’ll outline the opportunities presented by the affordable housing investments IMPACT pioneered 20 years ago. The state of mortgage-backed securities. A decade ago, loose lending standards, underwriting done on a pro forma basis, and high loan-to-value transactions in the mortgage-backed industry contributed to the economic crash of 2008. Since that time, U.S. financial markets are once again reaching record highs...

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HOW COMMUNITY HAPPENS THROUGH IMPACT INVESTING.

Jeff Brenner By Jeff Brenner, CEO, IMPACT Community Capital

Safe, affordable housing is the cornerstone of every community, but it does not make a community. A community needs healthcare, schools, jobs and many other goods and services. Nearly 20 years ago, IMPACT got its start financing affordable housing. But we knew that increasing the supply of quality, deeply affordable housing was not enough. We began thinking about how we might leverage our experience and investor base to create the other building blocks of communities. We had a great foundation from which to start. Since its founding, IMPACT has invested over $1 billion in affordable housing in 41 states plus D.C. We did this by creating a platform that allows us to...

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MOVING CAPITAL FROM WALL STREET TO MAIN STREET.

Michael Lohmeier By Michael Lohmeier, CIO, IMPACT Community Capital

In our previous entries, IMPACT CEO Jeff Brenner and I highlighted the vast need for affordable housing across the United States and offered examples of new affordable housing developments IMPACT has financed to help alleviate the shortage. These examples illustrate the role we play in bridging the gap between Wall Street and Main Street. In our latest blog, I’d like to describe the nuts and bolts of our work by sharing three important components. These “differentiators” are what set IMPACT apart from the growing number of advisers new to the space. They are built upon a set of investment principles (Stewardship; Long-term Focus; Impact; Open-minded & Steadfast; and Opportunistic) which are the...

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ADDRESSING AFFORDABLE HOUSING NEEDS IN EVERY COMMUNITY.

Michael Lohmeier By Michael Lohmeier, CIO, IMPACT Community Capital

A couple of weeks back, IMPACT CEO Jeff Brenner shared his point-of-view on the crisis of a lack of affordable housing facing America’s communities. Today, I would like to share my perspective by highlighting two new developments, financed by IMPACT, that are good examples of our efforts to alleviate the shortage of affordable homes—a challenge impacting communities of every size across the nation. According to ECONorthwest, 22 states plus D.C. did not build enough housing between 2000-2015. In fact, production fell short by 7.3 million units. The California Housing Partnership reports that workers in many San Francisco Bay Area communities need to make at least four times the minimum wage (nearly $50...

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HOW COMMUNITIES HAPPEN: ADDRESSING AMERICA’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS THROUGH IMPACT INVESTING.

Jeff Brenner By Jeff Brenner, CEO, IMPACT Community Capital

I am fortunate to come to San Francisco to work every day. From the views of the Golden Gate Bridge, to the amazing food and the technological innovation, this city is a wonderful mash-up of diverse experiences. But, I am struck by the stark contrast of opportunity with the homelessness that I encounter as I move throughout the city during the day. It is a heartbreaking challenge shared by nearly every city in our country and one impacting more people every day. The causes are many as are the people and solutions trying to address it. One thing is certain, we have to build more housing that is affordable to more people....

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