The Tindall Foundation backs new platform to finance homes for those in need
Sir Stephen Tindall encourages others to support the drive to meet desperate demand for affordable homes
The Tindall Foundation has joined other high-profile backers to support a new initiative that brings investors together with community housing providers to build affordable homes for Kiwi families.
Community Finance, which launched two weeks ago, is a social enterprise which will provide low-cost finance to organisations such as the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity to help address homelessness and the affordable housing crisis across the country
The Tindall Foundation joins The Lindsay Foundation, The Wilberforce Foundation, Christian Savings, and The Matua Charitable Trust in establishing Community Finance. The social enterprise will raise investment for community housing projects and deliver more new homes to families who desperately need them.
James Palmer, Community Finance Chief Executive, says the community housing sector is restricted by the high cost of borrowing from banks whereas the Community Finance model lowers the cost of finance for these organisations.
“The community housing sector needs advocates and impact investors like The Tindall Foundation to address the growing demand for affordable houses. Together we want to see more families living in their own safe, secure and affordable homes.”
“The private sector and the Government can’t build these homes alone, and our aim is to work with them and community housing providers with a proven track record in helping tackle the housing crisis, to deliver more quality homes in vibrant and diverse communities for those who need them most.”
Community Finance’s first project is a Salvation Army Community Bond which requires investment of $40 million to fund 118 new homes in Royal Oak, Westgate and Flat Bush.
The largest investment in that Bond comes from The Lindsay Foundation, founded by former Sistema Plastics owner Brendan Lindsay, with a commitment of $5 million towards this Community Bond. Community Finance is currently in talks with a range of investors to fulfil the remaining $35 million needed.
The Tindall Foundation has longstanding experience in the community housing sector, supporting and financially backing many developments which provide homes for families including NZ Housing Foundation developments in Auckland and Christchurch.
Co-founder, Stephen Tindall is pleased to be backing Community Finance and hopes others will do the same. “This exciting initiative brings much-needed finance into the growing community housing sector. We have been investing in community housing projects for the last 15 years and we understand the need to get behind initiatives like this to ensure every family in New Zealand has a safe and affordable place to live. We look forward to working with Community Finance team to bring more capacity to this sector.”
Mr Palmer says social and community housing makes up approximately three per cent of the overall New Zealand stock which is out of line with international rates of six per cent on average in developed countries.
He says impact investing is focussed on making a beneficial impact in the community while also receiving a financial return.
“Community Finance creates a bridge between wealth and those who are in need by providing a straightforward, secured and genuinely ethical investment option.”
How the Community Finance model works
Community Finance works with Community Housing Providers to undertake financial modelling, social impact assessments and credit analysis and if the project stacks up, the loan is approved.
Community Finance acts as an intermediary with loans secured and managed through securitisation, to create a Community Bond. Community Finance charges less than 1% pa to manage both the investments and lending.
Investors receive regular reports on the direct social impact of their investment as well as a financial return of between 2% pa and 2.50% pa, which is similar to the financial returns on corporate bonds and term deposits.
More About Community Finance
Community Finance was established with capital from the Lindsay Foundation, The Wilberforce Foundation, Christian Savings, the Matua Charitable Trust and the Tindall Foundation.
The Community Finance board includes veteran social housing advocate Major Campbell Roberts; economist and Generation Rent author, Shamubeel Eaqub; Jo Glen, an experienced Governance, Risk and Compliance Manager from the financial services sector; lawyer and author of Social Enterprises: A Legal Handbook, Steven Moe; and director and pastor Rod Robson, who has previously served as chief legal counsel at Work and Income.