In September 2015, HESTA announced it was seeding the initial investment for a new ‘Social Impact Investment Trust’ – an entity managed by Social Ventures Australia and established to make direct and indirect investments in businesses, projects and social impact bonds that deliver financial and social returns.
The Trust has now made a $6.7 million investment in Horizon Housing, a community housing provider in Queensland. Under the deal, the Trust will partner with Horizon Housing to finance the purchase of management rights for 995 existing affordable housing properties and the development of up to 60 social and affordable homes. Horizon Housing currently has properties and projects in 15 local government areas in Queensland and northern NSW.
In announcing the investment, HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said,
‘Many of our members are familiar with the difficulty of accessing affordable housing and achieving home ownership. So, it’s appropriate that HESTA’s first Australian impact investment has the potential to both earn a financial return and help address a social issue impacting [on] the community and our members.’
Horizon Housing chief executive Jason Cubit is also ‘thrilled to be teaming up with SVA and HESTA to develop new ways of providing access to those most in need of social and affordable housing’.
*HESTA is a $32 billion Australian superannuation fund. Social Ventures Australia is a non-for-profit organisation that provides funding, investment and advice for social impact.