Over the last two years, the field of social impact investing and the concepts of “Pay for Success” and “Social Impact Bonds” have gained increasing recognition for their potential to support the implementation of proven interventions that can meet the “double bottom line” of providing both positive social impact and the potential to generate returns on investment. More than 20 states are currently pursuing social impact investing related efforts at the state or county level, with more anticipated in the near future. Social impact investing – in its many variations –presents a tremendous opportunity to diversify and expand investment in supportive housing, increasing opportunities for the people who need it most. It also presents an excellent opportunity for government to reform how it invests and allocates public resources, with much greater emphasis on paying for results.
Supportive housing, with a long, proven track record and a strong base of evidence documenting its ability to improve human and social outcomes while decreasing utilization of expensive crisis services and systems, is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this financing model that requires demonstrable reductions in costs to government. This paper highlights:
- The concept of and model for social impact investing
- Target populations for supportive housing and social impact investing
- The key elements of successful social impact investing efforts
- A strategy for promoting the use of social impact investing to create supportive housing