Over the course of our lives, we will spend more time in our homes than in any other place on Earth. It is where we will spend the most money, consume the most electricity and water, and build futures for ourselves and our children.
For 40 million Americans, that home is in an apartment building – an asset class that has consistently delivered stable, risk-adjusted rates of return.
These factors make multifamily the perfect asset class for impact-minded investors seeking profitable long-term investments that improve people’s lives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
However, to capitalize on the growing interest from impact investors, the multifamily industry must establish common impact standards that are easy for investors to understand, evidence-based, and backed by transparent reporting guidelines that increase accountability and align with the broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ecosystem.
To meet this challenge and support the growth of impact investing in our sector, the Multifamily Impact Council, a non-profit membership organization, was created in 2022. Our first objective was to develop a standard framework of common principles, minimum impact requirements and reporting guidelines for impact investing in the rental housing sector.
The framework development process lasted nearly 18 months. It included in-depth interviews and deep-dive meetings with our members, reviewing and analyzing research and industry best practices, public input, and guidance from our Advisory Board.
Introducing the Multifamily Impact Framework™
In September, we released the final, completed 2023 version of the Multifamily Impact Framework™.
Designed to help investors and property owners focused on building stronger ESG and impact investment strategies, the Framework addresses four key areas:
- Improving the lives of the people who live in the properties. We believe that healthy and financially stable renters create healthy and financially stable properties, and our Framework consciously puts renters first.
- Increasing properties’ resilience while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our Framework aligns with and supports broadly accepted industry practices that help investors reduce their environmental footprint and protect against damage from severe weather and natural disasters.
- Supporting each stakeholder’s fiduciary responsibility to achieve their targeted rate of return. If we are to achieve scale, impact investing must make sense financially.
- Creating common sense metrics that can be tracked and measured over time. Our Framework includes achievable reporting guidelines to help our partners set tangible impact goals and measure the progress of their efforts over time.
The Framework consists of seven impact principles with corresponding definitions, minimum threshold requirements and reporting metrics. These principles are:
- Housing Stability
- Economic Health and Mobility
- Resident Engagement
- Health and Wellness
- Climate and Resiliency
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Putting the Impact Framework™ to Work
We did not build this Framework to have it sit idle on a shelf. We built it to be adopted and used. Consequently, it is publicly available for all property owners, capital providers and industry stakeholders to download, review and adopt it into their impact strategies.
Downloading and adopting the Framework
Adopting the Framework is available to any organization that shares our belief that delivering impact begins at home. It does not require membership in the Multifamily Impact Council, and it is free.
All we ask is that organizations make a public, good-faith commitment to abiding by the Framework and share best practices and feedback with us so that we can make improvements and updates to the Framework annually. In return, the MIC will provide training and educational support, access to our resource library, recognition on our website and social media channels, and an “Adopter” logo to include in each organization’s annual impact report.
If you are interested in joining us on this journey to build an industry standard that improves the lives of our renters, makes our properties more energy and water-efficient, and increases the flow of impact and ESG-motivated capital into the multifamily sector, download your copy of the Impact Framework™ and start the adoption process here.