What’s on our radar
- Impact-Investing Boom Gives Funding Jolt to $1 Trillion Asset ManagerNuveen funds are focused on combating income inequality and climate change. In less than a decade, Rekha Unnithan invested $1 billion in a niche part of the market that was once so small most people on Wall Street hadn’t even heard of it. Unnithan is co-head of impact investing at Nuveen, which oversees more than $1 trillion of assets, including over $5.8 billion in impact strategies. She joined the firm in 2012 to develop a business for investments that can both make money and leave a measurable positive impact on society and the environment. Just last week Nuveen attracted $150 million from institutional investors for a strategy focused on combating income inequality and climate change.
- How to Build Back Greener After the PandemicThe coronavirus has hobbled economies all over the globe. But with that destruction comes new opportunities. Alongside the financial destruction wrought by Covid-19 there comes new opportunities. European officials have seized on one in particular—mending battered economies in a way that also tackles global warming, or “building back greener.” But how to turn those words into action? Bloomberg renewables reporter Jess Shankleman reports from London on the policies that may bring that dream to fruition, and the sobering realities of trying to do so during a pandemic.
- Apollo Joins Impact-Investing Rush With Goal to Be Market LeaderApollo Global Management Inc. is venturing into the world of impact investing, a corner of finance where most of its private equity peers already have substantial operations. Impact investing, where fund managers seek to both make money and leave a measurable positive impact on society or the environment, has gone from a niche discipline just a few years ago to a $715 billion market. The funds have been attracting investors at a time when the deadly coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest in the U.S. have highlighted societal inequalities.
- The Affordable Metropolis Initiative – A Global Dialogue on Affordable Housing: Policy, Finance, Technology and SheltersThe present Yearbook is the outcome of The Affordable Metropolis Initiative, a process launched in February 2018 in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) at the World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9). It is a joint effort by the Grand Paris Alliance for Metropolitan Development, the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) and the General Assembly of Partners (GAP). It is a voluntary contribution to the implementation of the Habitat III New Urban Agenda (NUA) and to the territorialization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also meant to support the realization of UN Habitat 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.
- Infographic: The Cost of Housing Around the GlobeShelter is one of life’s basic necessities. The biggest problem for millions of people around the world is that housing is often not affordable. What percentage of the average monthly income is required to afford the average mortgage payment? How much is rent in a local city compared to average New York City prices? This infographic examines the affordability of mortgages and rent in 102 countries around the world in a spectacular data visualization.
- These cities have the toughest laws for home builders — and the highest property prices‘There is no incentive for local municipalities to change anything because homeowners vote, and homeowners understandably want to protect their home values.’ Heavily-regulated land-use zoning has become the norm across the United States over the last decade — and there’s strong reason to believe that has driven housing costs higher in many cities. But in some parts of the country, land-use zoning is particularly stringent. A new working paper from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University examined the change in local zoning laws since 2006, based on survey data collected in 2006 and in 2018. Using that data, the researchers created an index that calculated where land-use regulations were the most onerous.
- Amazon, Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance and board members form working group to develop open standard for smart home devicesProject Connected Home over IP Intends to Simplify Development for Device Manufacturers and Increase Compatibility for Consumers. Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance today announced a new working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet. Zigbee Alliance board member companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian are also onboard to join the working group and contribute to the project. The goal of the Connected Home over IP project is to simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers. The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use. By building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification.
- Executive Order Establishing a White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable HousingBy the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Purpose. For many Americans, access to affordable housing is becoming far too difficult. Rising housing costs are forcing families to dedicate larger shares of their monthly incomes to housing. In 2017, approximately 37 million renter and owner households spent more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing, with more than 18 million spending more than half of their incomes on housing. Between 2001 and 2017, the number of renter households allocating more than half of their incomes toward rent increased by nearly 45 percent. These rising costs are leaving families with fewer resources for necessities such as food, healthcare, clothing, education, and transportation, negatively affecting their quality of life and hindering their access to economic opportunity.
- Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference RemarksThank you, Joe [Stegmayer, MHI Chairman], for those kind words. And thank you to MHI for inviting me to join you this morning. On behalf of HUD, it is a privilege to share my vision for addressing America’s affordable housing challenges – and the role of manufactured housing – with so many leaders and pioneers of the industry here today. Under President Trump’s leadership, our nation is witnessing historic highs in employment, job creation, and economic growth. The financial optimism of everyday Americans has surged to an 18-year high, and is nearing an all-time record. For those families who have access to affordable housing, they are facing their bright futures with confidence. And yet a serious challenge still persists: millions of hardworking Americans who seek affordable rents or sustainable homeownership simply cannot get their foot in the door. We have reached the point where many of our nation’s teachers, nurses, police officers, and firefighters struggle to live in or around the communities they serve. What they face is a critical shortage in our country’s supply of affordable homes.