Featured: Returns on Inclusion

Collective ownership, renter payouts and neighborhood trusts expand access to housing wealth. Late on a September Friday, a dozen or so Latina small-business owners gathered at the headquarters of Just, a community development financial institution in Austin, Texas. The women were veteran borrowers, having taken more than one “microloan” to start or grow their jewelry, cleaning and event planning businesses into livelihood enterprises that paid their bills. This day, their ambitions were higher: to own their own homes and build generational wealth. Just’s new “wealth club,” they were told, could turn them from borrowers and entrepreneurs into real estate investors. The microlender’s partnership with real-estate crowdfunding platform Arrived Homes, along with $250,000 from Schmidt Futures, will enable the women to collectively invest in a portfolio of rental homes, receive regular dividends and appreciated value, and get into the housing market. Separate funding from JPMorgan Foundation will help Just expand the model to Black female business owners. “There's an unmet need here,” Just’s Haydee Moreno tells ImpactAlpha. “There's a demographic that is hungry for these kinds of investments. They understand it, and they're eager to get in the game.”

Sponsored by Mission Investors Exchange

How MacArthur Foundation leverages a full continuum of capital for climate action. The Chicago-based foundation is committing grants, catalytic capital and sustainable investments to climate solutions to “acknowledge the urgency of this moment, and the ambition that is needed to tackle this existential challenge,” MacArthur’s John Balbach, Caixia Ziegler and Jorgen Thomsen write in ImpactAlpha's series with Mission Investors Exchange. MacArthur Foundation president John Palfrey will discuss the foundation’s climate and environmental justice work at MIE’s national conference in Baltimore next month. 

Dealflow: Muni Impact

Investor demand for Atlanta’s $369 million ‘social bond’ cuts city’s interest payments. Under the banner of “Moving Atlanta Forward,” the city raised $410 million in general obligation bonds this month, including $369 million designated as “social” to fund recreation, transportation, public safety and other capital projects. Social bonds, which raise funds to finance projects with social benefits, have proved popular with environmental, social and governance, or ESG, investors. Atlanta’s inaugural social bond series drew orders of more than $1.2 billion from 54 institutional investors. The strong demand enabled bond yields to be reduced by two to five basis points, depending on the maturity. Atlanta’s social bond framework was reviewed by Morningstar Sustainalytics.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Gary Community Ventures’ chief investment officer Santhosh Ramdoss will replace Mike Johnston as president and CEO… Victoria de Castro, ex- of World Benchmarking Alliance, joins The Predistribution Initiative as an associate director… LISC is hiring a manager of legal operations in New York… Mott MacDonald seeks a senior consultant for climate policy and finance in London… Sunwealth is recruiting an asset management associate in Cambridge, Mass… Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Trust is hiring a sustainability associate in Boston.

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