ImpactAlpha, May 4 – Boston-based environmental advocacy organization Conservation Law Foundation and Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp., a community development finance institution, raised $42 million from investors for their second Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund. The fund is expected to finance more than 450 homes in historically-disinvested communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
“Traditional models of investment in housing tend to exclude low-income communities and reinforce the cycle of disinvestment,” said Moddie Turay of Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. “In order to have a real impact, we need patient, longer-term investments.”
The fund deploys equity with longer than average investment timelines to acquire and refurbish properties for affordable housing. Its approach to building healthy communities includes rehabbing with energy efficiency upgrades, targeting developments with public-transit access and contracting with diverse-led and -staffed businesses.
Conservation Law’s HealthScore tool helps the fund screen and monitor investment opportunities for impact.
UnitedHealth Group invested $25 million in the fund alongside other investors, including Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Newton Community Development Foundation and banks including Cambridge Savings Bank.
The fund has made three investments in Brockton, Dorchester and Hamilton, Mass. Half of the 102 homes will house families earning less than the area’s median income.