Netherlands: NWB Bank (Nederlandse Waterschapsbank) affordable housing bonds
Main objectives of the project
The NWB Bank is a large Dutch public investment bank, set up in 1954. In 2017 it created the SDG Housing Bonds, focusing on specific impact drivers for affordability and energy efficiency in social housing, to attract dedicated investors into affordable housing provision. This product won the best social bond award in 2018 and 2019 by the Environmental Finance investment analysis service. These affordable housing bonds are priced according to demand and strategically marketed to a small pool of investors interested in social and green housing. To date they have been significantly oversubscribed. The bonds fund loans for the provision, renovation and retrofitting of income-targeted social housing in the Netherlands, managed by not-for-profit organizations. Social bond investors demand transparency, requiring high standards of reporting. Further work is needed to define the affordable and social benchmarks used in investor reports, as these can change. In addition, NWB co-operates with Aedes, the representative body for social housing providers in the Netherlands, to produce key performance indicator data on the bonds’ impact on social housing provision. The two organizations also organize regular site visits to the developments funded by the bonds’ investors to see the impact of their investments.