The annual Women in Housing and Finance (WHF) Fall Panel on Tuesday, November 12th featured a lively conversation among executive level leaders on the use of private funds in affordable housing development and restoration flowing from social impact investment initiatives.
The all-star panel included Nana Akowuah, Investment Analyst at Enterprise Community Investment, Ada Arevalo, the VP of Fund Management at Avanath Capital Management, Eleni Delimpaltadaki, Chief Capital Markets Officer at National Community Reinvestment, Leigh Roumila, CEO at Basis Multifamily Capital, and Sasima Pongfuengfu, Director, Portfolio Management at Jonathan Rose Companies.
One of the keys to the conversation was the definition of social impact investment. The origin of the investment movement was cited as the United Nations’ “ESG” framework and principles. ESG stands for Environment, Social and Governance investment, and takes into account these factors as well as the bottom line. How the investments are rated using ESG principles is specific to investor and advisor goals. It was also defined as funds that are not generated by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
Each panelist works for an organization with specific thriving programs for interested investors. Panelists affirmed that there is strong institutional and family office interest in affordable housing funds and individual properties due to their risk adjusted return due to insulation from boom and bust real estate cycles. They also cited the ongoing shift in intergenerational wealth to women and to Millennials who are prioritizing ESG considerations.
The two-hour sold out panel discussion was moderated by Tatiana Gutierrez, Partner at Nixon Peabody, and held at Nixon Peabody’s new law office in midtown. It was also generously sponsored by Bronx Pro Group, and organized by WHF-NY Board members Emily Kurtz of RiseBoro, and Samantha Magistro of Bronx Pro Group.
Following the discussion, attendees had the opportunity to network with each other and with the executive level speakers.