October 2023

Bob Simpson, President, Multifamily Impact Council



We started the Multifamily Impact Council out of what many of us in the industry felt was a growing need for structure and standards for multifamily impact investing.   


And, it turns out, our timing couldn’t have been better. A recent ESG Investor piece highlights how investors are shifting from ESG-related investments to impact investing.   


“Impact investing is set to overtake ESG integration as the most popular strategy for investors to achieve sustainability, according to the BNP Paribas’ ‘ESG Global Survey 2023,’” Vibeka Mair writes.  


According to the Impact Investing Global Market Report 2023, the global impact investing market grew by nearly $75 billion this year. The report estimates that the $495.82 billion industry will increase to $955.95 billion in just four years.  


Seeing more investors embracing impact investing is exciting, but challenges remain.  

For example, 71% of respondents to the BNP Paribas survey cited “inconsistent and incomplete data limited their adoption of ESG and impact investing,” according to ESG Investor. That’s a 17% increase from 2021.  


This brings me to our Multifamily Impact Framework™ - which establishes a market-based industry standard of impact principles and reporting metrics for the multifamily sector. We built the Framework to help our industry overcome the specific challenges identified in the BNP Paribas survey. And as more investors look to increase their impact investment allocations, we are well positioned as an industry to capitalize.  


That’s why it’s important for organizations to adopt our Framework. Doing so will give investors comfort that the impact investments they make are consistent with credible, evidence-based, and transparent industry standards and provide property owners with a consistent framework around which to deliver, quantify, and communicate their impact.  


One of the organizations that’s adopted the Framework is Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation. As a service provider, they play a critical role in delivering and quantifying impact.  


Below, we feature an interview with Rainbow’s executive director, Flynann Janisse. Flynann introduces us to her organization, discusses trends she and her team are seeing in resident services and explains what Framework adoption looks like for Rainbow.  


As more investors become impact investors, it’s critical for multifamily impact investing to operate under a set of guidelines and principles.  


We are so encouraged by the industry’s reception to the Multifamily Impact Framework™ and overwhelmed by the number of organizations who have already agreed to adopt the Framework. We look forward to continuing this journey with all of you and stand ready to assist you along the way.   


Thanks for reading, 

Bob Simpson 

President, Multifamily Impact Council

Flynann Janisse, Executive Director, Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation

Flynann Janisse

Flynann Janisse is the executive director of Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation, president and executive director of Equality Community Housing Corporation, and president and chairman of the board of Rainbow Housing Texas, Inc. Before joining Rainbow, Janisse served as Director of Property Management at Community Services of Arizona.

Janisse has extensive experience managing market rate (REIT), Section 42 Tax Credit, Project Section 8, and HUD and RD-financed housing communities. Janisse has more than 30 years of experience in asset management, with an emphasis on the development and implementation of social service programs for service-enriched affordable housing.

What is Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation?

Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation is a nonprofit organization that provides service-enriched housing programs and resources to residents of rental housing communities throughout the country. Rainbow provides a custom supportive services solution to every asset served, building a sense of community. 

Rainbow also serves as a general partner and community housing development organization where there is a benefit to the ownership structure and a commitment to the provision of long-term tenant-supportive services.  

Our shared purpose is to cultivate relationships internally and externally in a way that empowers sustainable, mission-driven engagement and social responsibility. We embrace our unique abilities and skills to provide intentional focus that empowers the social and economic advancement of our team, partners, communities, and those we collectively serve. We aim to be the solution to the problem, the improvement to the deficiency, and the answer to the questions that face our organization and those we serve. And we act as the anchor and catalyst for change through the development of programs and services that embody our mission to create and preserve sustainable lifestyles, productive citizens, and thriving communities. 

Are any recent residential services trends or developments in the marketplace catching your and your team’s attention? 

We are eager to expand our capacity in the space of health and wellness. We are exploring a partnership that would allow us to deploy this service directly to the residents we serve in collaboration with a skilled health partner to improve and stabilize the physical and mental health in our communities.  


We are working with research teams to understand why residents opt-in or out of free programming, which can and will create a space for upward mobility or, more simply, meet their needs, wants, goals, and aspirations while solving barriers to their desired life stability and resilience. We want to be astute in how we articulate to those we are serving that we come to their doorstep with a desire and capacity to empower them and build their trust in our commitment to do so.  


We want to refresh and lead collaborations as key elements in how communities and residents are served, focusing on building a coalition of unique abilities regionally and nationally with other valued partner organizations.  


Rainbow now has a program named BOOST! which is designed to build the skillsets of other social services providers and provide access for our residents to them as well as provide access to our residents for the providers of services. BOOST! is bringing together stakeholders with a material interest in the sustainability of housing and those who live, work, and thrive in the community, such as faith-based organizations, schools, first responders, police/fire, community leaders, as well as local and state political influencers, to dig deeper into what a community truly needs to create healthy housing in the early stages of development and preservation.  


We are invested in supporting those organizations that leverage rent reporting as a credit enhancement and getting residents to establish banking relationships coupled with the provision of education to create and sustain a stabilized financial position. We want to build the benefits of rent reporting to offer the capacity to sustain favorable credit scores for life-long financial resilience.  


The use of technology to interface with residents, partners, local, regional, and state agencies to expand our provision of direct one-on-one coaching, counseling, skills development, resource provisions, and a robust services delivery is at the forefront of our minds. We are actively researching and brainstorming concepts that will match those we serve with technology platforms to circumvent barriers and transform society from improving education and healthcare to promoting financial sustainability, equity, and social inclusion. 


Learning from and being inspired by other organizations who have taken technology platforms to the community with the implementation of soundproof booths that allow for an immediate connection to financial coaching, Rainbow is developing a similar concept that will provide direct and immediate access to private connections with robust service delivery and connectivity to Rainbow and national partner support systems at their fingertips. 

What are some things you suggest owners/operators think about for resident services as we head into 2024?

Early in the development or preservation of an asset, align with and involve organizations that are cultivating service-enriched housing by implementing pathways to financial well-being, health and wellness, skillsets development, and the overall well-being of tenant populations. This includes the voice of local businesses, schools, first responders, regional and state agencies, faith-based organizations, and a variety of stakeholders.  


Cast a wide net when determining delivery methods and concepts that will connect the majority of residents with programs and services, with a goal to reach and impact all. Use the Multifamily Impact Framework™ as a tool to guide the development of an enhanced services provision.  


Do not get stuck thinking one provision or one method of service works for everyone. The reality is tenant services must be refreshed, refined, reworked, and repositioned to materially support the population.  


Invest in the fabric of what causes change, think broadly, be prepared to take risks on programming to sift out what a community truly needs, and be prepared to adjust and revisit again and again and again until you see the community change from within. Invest in human capital by allowing residents to realize their full potential as productive members of society.

Rainbow is an early adopter of the Multifamily Impact Framework™. Why did your organization decide to adopt the Framework?

We believe in the thought leaders of the Multifamily Impact Council. We want to surround ourselves and be influenced by the intentional efforts of industry partners, which create space to ensure affordable housing is sustainable. We understand and value impact investing and the direct support it can and does provide to the residents of affordable housing. We further believe resident services are a catalyst for stabilizing a tenant base and enhancing the financial performance of an asset. We have a unique ability to align with the seven principles given our organizational structure and want to be responsible and accountable as an industry partner.  


We believe the Multifamily Impact Council allows us to fold into the fabric and framework that gives purpose to affordable housing.  

What does Framework adoption look like for Rainbow? 

We are excited to produce a combined effect that is greater than the sum of our separate missions. Adopting the Framework for Rainbow is a refreshed commitment to our mission-centered work and impact in the affordable housing industry. We want to lead by example and influence other same or similar organizations to join the collective efforts to create common standards and transparent reporting, which results in a greater benefit for all.  


We plan to promote the Framework in our partnership structures allowing for opportunities to create and preserve affordable housing with a deeper functionality that offers financially sustainable assets and strong community ties resulting in social and economic advancement for the tenant population. We plan to present the Framework to all stakeholders in our acquisitions seeking financial support and a financial commitment to the seven principles.  


We are implementing the Framework as a review process for all existing service contracts and ensuring all components are present in new service commitments. We have reviewed and will continue to review our program models to validate our capacity and commitment to the Framework. 

Industry News and Updates

Have news to share? Send your links to nicholas@multifamilyimpactcouncil.org, and we'll spread the word in this newsletter and on our LinkedIn page.

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