May 2023

Bob Simpson, President, Multifamily Impact Council



We started the Multifamily Impact Council a little over a year ago to establish multifamily impact investing standards and guidelines, build strategic partnerships, and serve as an industry clearinghouse for research and best practices.  

Last month we fulfilled the first part of one of those objectives when we released the Multifamily Impact Framework™ version 1.0. Below, we give you some information about how we created the Framework.  

Many of you have downloaded the Framework, started incorporating it into your organizations, and provided us with your feedback. That input is critical as we continue to enhance the Framework and ensure it delivers on our mission to help property owners and investors attract more impact-motivated capital into the U.S. rental housing market.  

You can get your copy of the Framework here. And you can use the form on this page to provide feedback on the Framework.  

While the Framework fulfills one of our objectives, we're moving toward achieving another today.  

The MIC Resource Library is now available. The Resource Library is a collection of multifamily impact investing tools, resources, research, and best practices that we've vetted as trustworthy and beneficial to organizations in our industry. We've organized the Resource Library around the MIC's seven impact principles.  

You can visit the MIC Resource Library at MultifamilyImpactCouncil.org/Resources.  

We currently have nearly 60 resources in the Resource Library, and we're continuously adding more. If your organization has research, a tool, or best practice, that you'd like to add to the Resource Library, email mic@multifamilyimpactcouncil.org and let us know.  

It's hard to believe that the Multifamily Impact Council is just over a year old. And in that time, with much help from people like you, we've delivered the Multifamily Impact Framework™ and now the MIC Resource Library.   

As we move forward, our primary objectives for the remainder of the year will be to build out the reporting metrics associated with our Framework, strengthen our integrations and partnerships with industry associations and ESG benchmarking organizations, and establish industry benchmarks for impact investing that align with our Framework and can be shared across the multifamily sector.   

If your organization wants to engage more with us as we deliver these objectives, please contact me directly at bob@multifamilyimpactcouncil.org. We are always looking for more input and appreciate everyone's support and leadership as we build the future of multifamily impact investing in the United States. 

Until next time, 

Bob Simpson 

President, Multifamily Impact Council

The MIC Resource Library is now available at MultifamilyImpactCouncil.org/Resources.

The Story Behind the Multifamily Impact Framework™

The Multifamily Impact Council's seven Impact Principles

After a year of rigorous collaboration with multifamily industry leaders, trade groups, and ESG experts, the Multifamily Impact Council (MIC) proudly presents the Multifamily Impact Framework™.  

We designed the Framework to serve as an operating system for impact investing while aligning with industry trade groups, research institutions, and ESG benchmarking and certification organizations. The Framework establishes a baseline of shared principles, definitions, and reporting metrics to attract more impact-motivated capital.  

The journey to creating the Framework began with conversations in 2020 with impact-focused owners and investors who recognized the financial and social value of such practices during the pandemic. After months of researching past efforts, we realized that while individual associations were working to address the issue, no broad framework existed to establish impact investing principles across all aspects of the industry. 

After extensive research and industry outreach, the Multifamily Impact Council was established in March 2022. Our approach is inclusive, collaborative, and evidence-based to develop a foundation of impact principles and reporting guidelines upon which the industry can grow.  

Over the past year, we worked on establishing a common impact investing framework that could serve as an operating system for impact investing in the multifamily housing industry. We based our approach on four fundamental values: 

  • Simplicity: The framework and reporting metrics must be easy to understand and incorporate for organizations across the capital stack.  
  • Transparency: A summary of our framework and a resource library of research and best practices will always be available and transparent to the public. Additionally, we are developing reporting guidelines to encourage transparency and enable impact investors to assess each investment against their impact needs and fiduciary responsibilities.    
  • Evidence-Based: Each principle was informed by academic research and industry best practices.    
  • Continuous Improvement: We designed the Framework as a starting point that establishes a minimum threshold for impact investments. We will continue to enhance and improve the Framework as the multifamily impact sector grows and evolves.    

In 2022, we underwent a comprehensive, 12-month process to define the principles upon which we built the Framework. Our approach included conducting in-depth interviews, collecting and analyzing research, seeking public input, holding deep-dive meetings, and collaborating with our Advisory Board. 

Those efforts resulted in seven Impact Principles that serve as the backbone for the Multifamily Impact Framework™: 

  • Affordability is the foundation of impact. The MIC defines affordability along a spectrum of impact that ranges from the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) definition of affordability up to the point where 100% of the renters in a property are paying no more than 30% of their income for rent. 
  • Housing Stability is achieved when a person is 1) not behind on rent or financially burdened to make rent payments, 2) has not moved in the past twelve months for financial reasons, and 3) is not forced to rely on housing shelters or doubling up with another household.    
  • Economic Health and Mobility is defined by a person's ability to improve their financial condition and living standards and achieve greater economic mobility while living in their rental unit.    
  • Resident Engagement ensures that the services and programs provided are 1) consistent with resident priorities, goals, and needs, 2) leverage existing community resources, and 3) create more access to on-site property staff that builds trust with residents. 
  • Health and Wellness addresses how a property is built and maintained. We define this principle as incorporating healthy building design, property management practices and resident services that create living conditions that protect and enhance renters' physical and mental health.    
  • Climate and Resiliency covers actions taken to make the property more energy efficient, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase the use of clean energy, and improve the property's and its residents' resiliency to climate risk.   
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ensure that organizations are incorporating DEI policies at the organizational and property level that create more diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the workforce, management team, and ownership structure. 

These principles empower multifamily owners, operators, investors, and service providers to make a difference in the lives of renter households across income levels. While each property offers unique opportunities to make an impact, our Framework sets specific, intentional actions that each property and portfolio must meet as the baseline requirement to qualify as a multifamily impact investment.  

Also, to enhance transparency, quantify actions, measure impact, and establish industry benchmarks, the MIC is finalizing 3-4 specific reporting metrics per principle. We'll make these metrics available later this year for MIC members and partners who adopt the Framework. Rest assured, we understand the importance of feasibility and are committed to developing reporting requirements that are easy to collect and do not burden property owners.  

Achieving our goal to increase the flow of impact-motivated capital at scale requires us to build a Multifamily Impact Framework™ with a pragmatic, evidence-based approach that aligns with global ESG certifications specific to the multifamily industry. It also sets consistent reporting methodologies for guiding investing, product development, and asset management decisions. 

Join us in setting a new standard for impact investing in the rental housing market with the Multifamily Impact Framework™. You can get your copy of the Framework here. 

Industry News and Updates

Submit your organization's news and announcements for inclusion in our monthly newsletter by emailing nick_barron@multifamilyimpactcouncil.org.

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