HESTA makes first impact investment in affordable housing
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 12:30pm

HESTA has made a $6.7 million investment in Horizon Housing, a community housing provider operating in Queensland focused on increasing the supply of social and affordable housing and helping low income earners achieve home ownership.

The super fund, which has more than 800,000 members working in health and community services, made the investment through HESTA's $30 million Social Impact Investment Trust. The fund invests in opportunities that deliver both a financial return and a measurable social impact.

Managed by Social Ventures Australia (SVA), the Trust is one of Australia's largest impact investment funds and represents the biggest single commitment by an Australian superannuation fund to the local impact investing market.

Through the Trust, HESTA and SVA aim to build a pipeline of investments and grow Australia's impact investment market by attracting other institutional investors.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said the investment could make a meaningful social impact, not only through providing capital to the sector but also by developing investable models that address social and affordable housing challenges.

"Many of our members are familiar with the difficulty of accessing affordable housing and achieving home ownership," Blakey said.

"So, it's appropriate that HESTA's first Australian impact investment has the potential to both earn a financial return and help address a social issue impacting the community and our members."

This investment will involve the Trust partnering with Horizon Housing to finance the purchase of management rights for 995 existing affordable housing properties and the future development of up to 60 new social and affordable homes. Horizon Housing has properties and projects across 15 local government areas in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

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