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With climate change intensifying weather events, coastal areas in particular are bracing for impact, and foundations have been drawn to the issue.
The biggest news to come out of the impact investment world lately is, without a doubt, the decision from the Ford Foundation to put over $1 billion of its $12 billion endowment toward mission-related investments. Meanwhile, there are plenty of interesting investing experiments brewing in various pockets of the foundation world.
The company, New York-based MyStrongHome, has a pretty clever model. If you live in an eligible area, they’ll come check out your house and then send over a contractor, mainly to upgrade the roof to meet stronger resiliency standards. The company then works with insurers to arrange for lower premiums as a result of the improvements, and that savings covers the cost of the new roof.
MyStrongHome has a goal of addressing a market of 1.6 million homes across six coastal states, and the $8 million round of funding should prove its business model starting in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Alabama.
The company was a response to Hurricane Sandy, which caused about $68.9 billion in damage, making it the second-costliest storm in U.S. history. Sandy damaged or destroyed around 650,000 housing units in New York and New Jersey.
Impact investing continues to pick up steam, as more foundations realize the limits of only using their annual payouts to serve their goals, and the importance of making financing available to underserved communities. One of the more compelling things to watch as this field matures is how these schemes take shape, using smaller sums to jujitsu larger flows of money into areas where they’re needed.