Green buildings clean energy add social impact to Praxis
Praxis Intermediate Income Fund helps fund environmentally friendly housing and hydroelectric project
As part of its stewardship investing commitment, the Praxis Intermediate Income Fund has made new purchases of high social impact bonds, totaling $4.25 million.
Approximately $2.5 million was used to purchase bonds for a "green" apartment complex on Long Island, New York. The 345-unit structure, completed in 2012, follows Green Building standards and is expected to receive LEED or LEED-Silver certification once it is officially scored.
The bonds are guaranteed by Fannie Mae, and are part of the agency's Multifamily Green Initiative. This initiative is designed to improve the energy and water efficiency, enhance the financial and environmental sustainability, and extend the useful life of multifamily housing in the United States.
The Praxis Intermediate Income Fund also purchased $1 million of low-income housing bonds issued by the city of Indianapolis. Proceeds of the purchase will go toward financing or providing financial assistance for a portion of the costs of the acquisition, renovation and equipping of an approximately 360-unit multifamily rental housing project and related facilities.
In addition to the multifamily housing structures, the Praxis Intermediate Income Fund also purchased a $750,000 bond in an Oregon hydroelectric project. The Pelton Round Butte hydro-project is the only hydroelectric project in the U.S. jointly owned by a Native American tribe and a utility. As partners, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Wasco, Warm Springs and Pauite tribes) and Portland General Electric Company share both the responsibilities and benefits of running the project. Their agreement protects the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs' historic and cultural resources, including archaeological sites, culturally significant plants, and historic properties. Power from the three dams is an important source of income for both partners. The project generates 1.5 billion kWh of clean electricity per year -- enough to power a city the size of Salem, Ore.
"We specifically look for these types of securities for the Praxis Intermediate Income Fund," explained Benjamin J. Bailey, co-manager of the Praxis Intermediate Income Fund. "We look for investments that make both social and financial sense, especially bonds that support environmental and renewable energy projects."
To date, the Praxis Intermediate Income Fund has invested over $20 million (more than 6.5 percent of its assets) in high social impact bonds. These investments are in addition to the Fund's "1 percent or more" commitment to community development investments that benefit disadvantaged communities in the U.S. and around the world.
About Praxis Mutual Funds and Everence
Praxis Mutual Funds, advised by Everence Capital Management, is a leading faith-based, socially responsible family of mutual funds designed to help people and groups integrate their finances with faith values. To learn more, visit www.praxismutualfunds.com.
Everence helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith through a national team of advisors and representatives. Everence offers banking, insurance and fnancial services with community benefits and stewardship education. To learn more, visit www.everence.com or call (800) 348-7468.