A consortium of over 20 industry leaders has launched a nonprofit membership organization to establish impact investment principles and data-driven reporting guidelines to help increase the flow of global impact capital into affordable and sustainable multifamily housing in the U.S.

The Multifamily Impact Council will have three primary objectives:

  • Establishing and maintaining impact investment principles and data metrics aligned with global environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards that are specific to the multifamily industry;
  • Building strategic partnerships with existing ESG certification and research organizations to simplify existing processes, developing industry-specific tools to help calculate the social return on investment, and quantifying the financial benefit of impact initiatives for investors; and
  • Serving as an industry clearinghouse for research, best practices, and collaboration to support the growth of multifamily impact investing in the U.S.

Founding members include Affordable Housing Investors Council; Alliant Strategic, a Walker & Dunlop company; Avanath Capital Management; Boston Financial Investment Management; Bridge Investment Group; Comunidad Partners; Enterprise Community Partners; Esusu; Fannie Mae; FCP; Fitwel; Freddie Mac; Goldman Sachs; Kayne Anderson Real Estate; Lincoln Avenue Capital; Low Income Investment Fund; National Affordable Housing Trust; National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders; Newmark; Nuveen Real Estate; OpenPath Investments; PGIM Real Estate; Stoneweg SA; Waterford Property Co.; and Wells Fargo.

“As interest in socially motivated debt and equity capital continues to grow, it is essential for the multifamily industry to come together and develop generally accepted principles and reporting frameworks that facilitate the flow of impact capital and support affordable and sustainable housing investments in the U.S.,” said Comunidad Partners managing partner Antonio Marquez, who will serve as the chairman of the board of the new nonprofit. “The Multifamily Impact Council will serve as the collaborative focal point for property owners, investors, lenders, and service providers to work together to create transparency, validity, and mutually accepted standards to accomplish this goal.”

Summer Haltli, principal of ESG and impact at FCP and a Multifamily Impact Council board member, added that limited investor and operator consensus on what constitutes impact investing in the affordable housing sector is available.

“As a result, investors and property owners must either create their own guidelines or adjust to broad enterprise-level ESG frameworks that might not directly apply to multifamily properties,” she said. “It is critical to develop a common structure for multifamily impact investing in order to unlock a private-sector solution to the housing affordability crisis in the U.S.”

Former Fannie Mae executive Bob Simpson, who founded Simpson Impact Strategies in 2020 after two decades at the government-sponsored enterprise, will serve as president and CEO of the nonprofit.

“Establishing impact investment principles for the industry will require a significant amount of collaboration across our sector. It is critical that our approach to building these principles be open and inclusive,” he said. “I am looking forward to engaging with folks from across the multifamily and impact investing community to help develop a common framework that will attract capital to affordable and sustainable housing.”