Inclusio Fund: Improving access to affordable energy efficient housing for marginalized communities

Updated: Mar 5

As Belgium’s residential property rental prices continue to rise (average rent has increased by 20% between 2004 and 2013), it is becoming increasingly difficult for people with low incomes to find suitable and affordable housing. There is a shortfall of 183,000 units of affordable housing in the country, putting many families and individuals on long waiting lists. A lack of affordable housing can lead to high levels of debt for low-income families, causing financial stress and sometimes even homelessness.

This problem is particularly acute for vulnerable populations, such as people with psychiatric difficulties, former homeless people and single-parent families. For these populations, community inclusion and active social support is crucial. However, governments lack the resources to meet current and future needs.

The financial problem for tenants is made even more acute when buildings are not energy efficient, thereby leading to heavy monthly utility bills - on top of the negative environmental impact.

KOIS, together with Belgian largest private bank Degroof Petercam and real-estate developer Revive, co-founded Inclusio, a privately-funded investment company that provides affordable high-quality rental housing for people with low incomes.

It does so, in mostly developing energy efficient buildings, to lighten the environmental footprint but also decrease tenants’ running costs. It buys, constructs or renovates housing units and rents them to public social real estate agencies. These in turn rent the housing units to low-income tenants. The agencies take a long-term lease of at least nine years, decreasing Inclusio’s leasing risk by guaranteeing complete occupancy.

Approximately 25% of units are reserved for particularly vulnerable populations. Inclusio partners with social service providers with effective reinsertion methods. For instance, Infirmières de Rue, an organisation which helps homeless people in their rehabilitation, helps them settle in their new home, ensure that they are doing well and have a support network in place.

Inclusio is a certified B-corp, meeting rigorous social and environmental performance standards, accountability, and transparency.

Fund characteristics

  • Launch: 2015

  • Geographies: Belgium

  • Assets under Management: €91m

  • Investment type: Private equity

  • Size of investments: $8 to $15m

  • Target yield: 3.5%

  • Number of investments so far: 34 residential real estate assets/projects

  • Expected exit: IPO in 2020

Inclusio's impact in 2019

  • 410 affordable housing units under management

  • 546 housing units under construction

  • 895 residents

  • 477 EUR average monthly rent

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