Specialist impact investment firm Conscious Investment Management, is managing $250 million worth of assets, which has helped to finance 177 social and affordable housing dwellings and produced 3,022 MWh of renewable energy, according to their latest impact report.

The firm runs a flagship diversified fund that is focussed on real assets seeking to solve some largest global challenges relating to environment and climate, health and education, and social infrastructure. 

The majority of the strategy targets social and affordable housing (57%) and specialist disability housing (37%). With distributed solar making up 5% and social impact bonds at 1%. 

Conscious IM uses a partnership model that helps them understand a core problem from the perspective of those with lived experience. They partner with a range of not-for-profits that have front-line exposure, aiming to deploy capital to where it’s needed most. 

“We have undertaken this piece of work to communicate our approach to impact measurement and management. Beyond the numbers, the report dives deeper into the outcomes generated by each investment and the risks and challenges of investing for both impact and financial returns. We would not be able to achieve these outcomes without our impact partners – the charities and mission aligned organisations that our investor capital supports.” Explains Casey Taylor, Director at CIM.

“Very excitingly, the front cover artwork is a piece by one of our talented SDA tenants in Victoria. The artwork paints a bright and uplifting picture, and we are really pleased to be able to support her artistic journey.” 

Housing Infrastructure Impact

A leading example of their approach is the social and affordable housing partnership with HousingFirst and the Victorian Government. They’ll invest $150 million to buy up to 307 apartments for social and affordable housing tenants. HousingFirst will manage the leasing, with offers going primarily to people on the state’s housing waiting list.  

Funding Specialist Disability Housing (SDA) is another key avenue through which CIM deploys impact focussed capital. This category of housing ensures that people with disabilities are matched with housing that meets their needs. The NDIS offers funding support, and for the CIM model, their partner, Summer Housing, managess tenant allocations as well as payments from the federal government agency, with payments then passed on to CIM for the accomodation.

CIM explains that their impact focus has led them to only offering the accommodation service to their clients, rather than getting involved with the support services, which is also NDIS funded. 

“In our properties, there is separation and independence between ourselves, the SDA Provider, and the support provider, reaffirming tenant choice and control.” The report explains.

To measure the impact of the funds, they use the Impact Management Project (IMP) framework. Across each of the IMP dimensions (what, who, how much, contribution, and risks) they apply metrics related to the SDGs and GIIN’s IRIS+ frameworks.

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