Generate KiwiSaver Scheme, Community Finance and Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust (ŌCHT) collaborate to build new homes in Christchurch.
Just in time for Christmas, the Generate KiwiSaver Scheme has partnered with Community Finance to make a $14 million impact investment to finance 35 new homes for people in need.
The homes are part of a new community development that will revitalise Willard St in the Christchurch suburb of Spreydon.
Cate Kearney, Chief Executive of ŌCHT, said: “The partnership with Generate KiwiSaver and Community Finance will have a positive impact in the lives of 35 whānau and provide a secure foundation for these families to live and build a future.
“This impact investment provides a significant boost to our ability to plan and build new community housing in Ōtautahi. It provides the certainty we need to further unlock the potential for new homes now and into the future.”
The Community Finance investment structure enables the opportunity for positive financial returns for Generate KiwiSaver members over the long-term, while providing a positive social impact to benefit Aotearoa.
Ayrton Oliver, Generate Portfolio Manager, said: “Ethical investing is one of our core values at Generate, so we often seek out investment opportunities that have the potential to drive both positive financial returns and positive social impact - we don’t believe these need to be mutually exclusive.”
Community Finance facilitates and manages lending by issuing Community Bonds which provide an innovative way to tackle the housing crisis where wholesale investors support the financing of homes that are owned and managed by leading charitable Community Housing Providers, such as ŌCHT.
Despite recent falls in house prices, the increased cost of living and short supply of affordable houses in New Zealand has exacerbated the lack of capacity in the rental market and increasingly unaffordable rentals.
James Palmer, Chief Executive of Community Finance, said New Zealand’s significant housing and cost of living crisis impacts the country’s vulnerable population most.
“We are focussed on encouraging investors to choose investments that also have a positive social impact in our country. Key to this is collaboration and commitment from KiwiSaver providers, fund managers, and foundations to work with Community Finance to back leading Community Housing Providers like ŌCHT, to continue the incredible work they do while also delivering positive returns for investors.”
The construction of the new development in Ōtautahi has already begun and the homes are on track to be completed in 2023.
The new homes will be built to the New Zealand Green Building Council’s Homestar 6 standard. The homes will be constructed with low maintenance, durable materials and be well-insulated and thermally efficient.
Cate Kearney said the new-look Willard Street meets ŌCHT’s goal of sustainably providing warm, dry, and healthy homes that set new standards for community housing.
“We want to provide houses that people come to see as homes, in a community they’ll build in a great place to live. Generate’s purposeful, ethical investment in our work will help us ease the pressures of housing scarcity and homelessness and give our communities new opportunities to grow.”
Ayrton Oliver said: “I think there’s no denying that 2022 has been a pretty rough year for many Kiwis, so it’s really nice to finish up the year by wrapping up a deal that will create positive change in our community, while still delivering attractive returns for our members.”
Impact investing is nothing new to Generate. In 2020 Generate was the first KiwiSaver scheme to invest in social housing via a $21 million investment managed by Community Finance into Salvation Army Community Bonds. That investment supported118 warm, dry, affordable community houses across three locations.
Since its launch in 2020, Community Finance has already advanced over $100 million and the latest impact investment will see it surpass $120 million of lending.
ABOUT ŌTAUTAHI COMMUNITY HOUSING TRUST
The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust is one of the largest residential landlords in the country with a portfolio of 2,450 homes of which it owns over 570 properties and leases a further 1880 properties. It was formed in 2016 out of Christchurch City Council’s wish for a financially sustainable model for its social housing portfolio.
Generate is an award-winning KiwiSaver provider with over $3.5 billion funds under management, and a track record of strong, long-term performance through responsible investment. Generate was recently awarded both Investor Choice and Adviser Choice Awards at the Research IP Funds Manager of the year awards and received a Consumer NZ People’s Choice Award for KiwiSaver earlier this year.
ABOUT COMMUNITY FINANCE
Community Finance is a leading impact investment intermediary in Aotearoa/New Zealand. It provides the connection between wholesale investors with leading positive impact investments. Its impact investments are primarily focused on financing leading Community Housing Providers (CHPs) that provide homes around the country with long term Government funding.