Bouwinvest joins forces with pension funds in new €400m affordable home strategy

Dutch real estate investment manager Bouwinvest and sector pension funds ABP and bpfBOUW announced on Thursday that they will collaborate in a new €400 mln affordable home investment strategy called the Dutch Social Impact Real Estate Partnership.

ABP has committed €250 mln and bpfBOUW another €150 mln to the initiative, which will aim to develop and preserve affordable (care-related) homes in the social and low-middle rental segment in the Netherlands. The partnership’s focus will be on housing for groups of people who are currently finding it difficult to find a home.

'The Dutch (healthcare) housing market is currently way out of balance, as large groups of people cannot find appropriate and affordable housing,' Bouwinvest, which manages the partnership on behalf of the investors, said in a statement. In particular, there is a huge shortage of rental housing in the social and low-middle segment, with rental prices between €650 and €960, it added.

ABP and bpfBOUW intend to use the partnership to address this issue by providing housing for lower and middle-income earners. In addition, the partnership is actively looking for areas in urban environments that currently lack social amenities.
To meet its social objectives, the partnership is focused on homes and care-related homes (a minimum of 80%), but also on other social real estate, such as schools or community centres (a maximum of 20%). Of course, these will all be in energy-efficient, climate-resilient and sustainable buildings.

Maya Savelkoul, director Dutch Impact Investments at Bouwinvest, said: 'We are seeing some major social issues in society, including the affordability of homes and the lack of amenities in neighbourhoods. The knife cuts both ways for impact investors. After all, an increasing number of pension fund participants want the funds they invest to not only generate good returns, but also to make a positive contribution to society and the environment. In addition, the participants and pensioners themselves can also benefit from affordable homes and senior homes, along with social amenities in their neighbourhood.'
Harmen van Wijnen, ABP Board Chairman added: 'As ABP, our aim is to provide good pensions in a liveable world. To that end, we look for attractive long-term investments. And it is even better if these investments can also help solve social problems. The Netherlands has a housing shortage and our participants feel that too. The Impact Partnership enables us to do something about this problem by investing in affordable and sustainable rental or care-related homes. So, thanks to this investment, the premiums we receive pay off twice for our participants.'


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