How Community-Focused Municipal Bond Investments Can Drive Social Impact

Nov 12, 2019 7:10 AM ET

How Community-Focused Municipal Bond Investments Can Drive Social Impact

by Emily E. Robare, head of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) research on the municipal credit research team at Gurtin Municipal Bond Management 

Pairing the words “community-focused” and “municipal bonds” together feels redundant, because at their core, the purpose of most municipal bonds is to invest in a local community. Whether through building roads and bridges, fire stations and school buildings, or community centers, municipal bonds frequently fund the bones of a community. Well-maintained and updated infrastructure can provide a solid backdrop for a community to flourish

Whether due to a shortage of available housing in high-demand areas or to the lack of developer interest in maintaining inexpensive housing, the United States is experiencing an affordable housing crisis. A 2017 study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies reported that the number of homes costing $2,000 or more in rent per month had increased by 97% over a 10-year period. In many locations, private markets cannot provide sufficient affordable housing without the help of a public subsidy because rent generated from low-income households oftentimes does not fully cover costs. To combat this, state and local governments work with the federal government to offer funds and tax credits to help provide access to affordable housing. 

Read Emily's full article that looks at "The Positive Impact of Affordable Housing on all Residents and Communities" all here -