ImpactConnect 1:1 will take place at the Impact Investment Summit. In a new format, it offers pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between investment managers and businesses, with sophisticated, wholesale and institutional investors, during the summit. In this series we’re introducing the funds and the companies presenting at the event, so stay tuned.

Fund name: Hope Housing

Asset class of your fund: Alternative

Investment minimum: $1 million

What impact themes are you targeting with this fund?

By making homeownership more attainable for essential workers they can achieve housing security sooner and also afford to live closer to their work. This has a significant direct impact on the workers who stand to benefit financially, professionally and personally and it doesn’t stop there. The ripple effect can be felt further with the families of the essential workers benefiting from a better work life balance and less financial pressures and employers benefit from improved productivity and reduced turnover. Finally, the entire community benefits from having workers ready and able to perform essential roles when needed.

With help from our partner – the Centre of Social Impact at UNSW, we have quantified this social impact of our Fund to be 30c for every $1 invested.

What are the key returns drivers of your strategy?

HOPE offers investors diversified exposure to high-quality Australian residential properties, with a focus on growth assets within the Greater Sydney region. The Fund deploys capital into shared equity stakes in homes purchased by essential workers.

Distributable income will be generated through the realisation of capital gains either upon sale of the house or when homeowners buy out some or all of HOPE’s equity. HOPE is targeting a competitive commercial return along with a quantifiable impact return which is aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals 

Can you share a BRIEF case-study or example of an asset in your fund?

The sole intention of the people backing HOPE was to help essential workers get a foot onto the property ladder and stay working in the jobs they love.

As an example, Adam is a detective, and while he admits he is paid quite well but, he has found it very difficult to buy into the Sydney property market which consistently outpaces salaries.

Adam learnt about HOPE at the bi-annual Police Association Conference in May 2022. He first thought HOPE was only helping with the deposit, but then he came to understand it was so much more, HOPE offered to co-invest up to half the value of the property. For Adam this was a complete game changer – it cut through red tape allowing him to buy a decent sized home, reduced the amount of money he needed to borrow from the Bank and gave him the ability to save and progressively buy out HOPE’s share.

When did you first discover impact investing?

I became aware of it when I started working on solving a problem on housing affordability of our essential frontline workforce, building HOPE’s co-investment solution. Peter Murphy, the ex-CEO of Christian Super, told me early on that what we were building had impact written all over it and he suggested that we try to measure this.

As a newcomer to this field, I reached out for help, that’s when I found the Centre of Social Impact at UNSW. They have helped us develop our Theory of Change and build our methodology to track and report on the impact HOPE is having on the essential workers, their families, their employers and our communities.

What’s the most interesting development you’re seeing in the impact space at the start of 2023?

The increasing number of employees seeking purpose in their work is a really interesting development for me.

HOPE recently went to market to fill two key vacancies. We were inundated with so many high calibre candidates looking to secure a job that had potential to make a real difference to the lives of others. In a time where job vacancies outstripped available workers, I was also amazed at how many candidates were willing to take a pay cut to come and work with HOPE. In the very near future I think top tier employers are going to have to offer the opportunities to make societal impact to be able to attract and retain their top performing employees.  

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