Award-Winning Business Collaborative Earns Second Highest Rating for CDFIs
(Boston) - Housing Partnership Network, a national business collaborative of leading affordable housing and community development nonprofits, and a long-standing community development financial institution (CDFI), has received a rating of AAA +2 from Aeris, the information service for community investors. Aeris provides comprehensive, third-party assessments of financial strength, performance and impact of CDFIs. HPN’s AAA +2 rating is the second highest rating available from Aeris, with the “+” designation recognizing HPN’s leading work in the area of policy. In addition, HPN has maintained this high rating since it was first rated by the service in 2005.
Receiving an Aeris rating supports the growth and innovation of HPN’s CDFI, and helps HPN advance its mission of building affordable homes, better futures and vibrant communities for low- and moderate-income people. Investors who subscribe to the Aeris service can access the financial information they need to evaluate potential investment opportunities with HPN’s CDFI. Member borrowers and others who subscribe can review ratings to better understand the strengths of HPN’s CDFI.
HPN launched a CDFI entity in 2001 to aggregate capital to provide its nonprofit members with flexible, early stage financing for affordable housing projects, capital that was extremely scarce at that time. HPN subsequently received CDFI certification in 2008 and expanded its product line to allow for longer term equity investments in collaborative enterprises and HPN member organizations.
“Participating in Aeris’ rigorous ratings process further enables us to aggregate capital on behalf of HPN members, capital that is critical to achieving ambitious goals around our shared mission,” said HPN’s President and CEO Thomas Bledsoe. “Such a prestigious industry recognition is catalytic to our work with HPN members to transform lives and communities through housing and community development.”
A wide range of investors, including banks, foundations, fund managers, and others, rely on Aeris ratings to both identify and evaluate community investment opportunities that meet their impact goals and risk parameters.
“HPN’s CDFI powers a wealth of member projects that have major impacts on the communities they serve—from real estate acquisition and development, to new social enterprises designed to scale innovation,” said HPN’s President of Capital Markets Rebecca Regan. “Participating in Aeris supports these efforts and we’re excited to have remained among the top performing CDFIs.”
The rigorous ratings process is widely seen as demonstrating a CDFI’s commitment to transparency and accountability regarding its financial performance and impact in the community. An Aeris rating assesses two main areas: how well a CDFI achieves its stated goals (Impact Performance Rating), and its overall creditworthiness (Financial Strength and Performance Rating).
Since launching its CDFI, HPN has raised and deployed more than $300 million of capital for its member organizations and social ventures, including more than $140 million for a social purpose real estate investment trust, Housing Partnership Equity Trust. In 2013, HPN received one of the highest industry awards available for CDFIs, a Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance in the amount of $2.5 million, to support the expansion of HPET and in recognition of HPN’s excellence as a CDFI.
With dwindling federal resources and a growing national need for affordable homes, HPN’s role in aggregating capital and impact investment through its top-rated CDFI will continue to grow.
Aeris guides capital to good. It is the information service for community investors who champion economic justice in underserved markets. Since 2004, Aeris has provided ratings, data, and advisory services that support investment in community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Its proprietary CDFI ratings tool (formerly known as CARS®) helps investors evaluate opportunities that meet their impact goals and risk parameters. More than 60 of the nation’s leading community investors subscribe to Aeris’ ratings and data products. Learn more at www.aerisinsight.com.