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Clann Credo to Manage Ireland’s First Social Impact Investment (SII)

Government has tasked Clann Credo - the Social Investment Fund with managing Ireland’s first social impact investing project which will see an end to private emergency accommodation for families who are homeless in the Dublin region and provide these families with sustainable tenancies. Social Impact Investment (SII) is the localisation and application the Social Impact Bond concept. 

Welcoming the initiative, Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan said: "There are currently 136 families in homeless accommodation in Dublin. It is not a sustainable long-term solution and this new initiative will provide these families with a stable home and a better future. I believe that the problems being experienced by families are often complex but the immediate solution is simple - a family needs a home.”  

Under the scheme, Clann Credo, Ireland’s largest social finance provider, will act as project manager. One of the first tasks will be to assess and identify potential investor interest and to attract potential social impact investors.  Focus Ireland will deliver the services in collaboration with Dublin City Council. 

"We are assisting the most vulnerable in society. These families will soon have sustainable homes and will reap the benefits that others take for granted.  Everyone in the family will gain from this and there will be wider social benefits also.  I am very appreciative of the work that has brought this project to fruition and I wish Clann Credo, Focus Ireland and Dublin City Council well in their endeavours and in achieving maximum success.  The homelessness budget was protected in this week’s budget, and I am committed to supporting news measures, such as this Social Impact Investment initiative, that will see that funding used to its maximum potential and to achieve better outcomes for people without a home," said Minister O’Sullivan.

Clann Credo’s CEO, Paul O’Sullivan, said the expectation is that the amount required from investors for the initial phase will be somewhat under €1m: “The proposals localise to Ireland innovative funding mechanisms that are also being implemented in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia”.  

Focus Ireland’s Director of Services Catherine Maher welcomed the launch of the new scheme: “Focus Ireland is the lead agency for DCC in supporting families who become homeless in Dublin.  We have being working hard to do this through our pilot family case management project which sees staff work to secure a home for families and to also address the issues that caused them to become homeless in the first place.

“The key factor blocking this work has been a lack of access to housing for these families.  This new social impact investment scheme launched by the Minister and her Department with the support of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is a really important development as it will help our work to ensure families can secure a place to call home and also prevent them from becoming homeless again in the future”

Social Impact Investing (SII) involves the use of public and private capital to fund interventions aimed at tackling social problems.  The State agrees to repay the private investor only if set outcomes are achieved.  This allows the risk to be transferred from the State to the private investor.  This model of investing was first used in the UK and has since been adopted by numerous other countries, including US, Canada, Australia and South Africa. 

Clann Credo has been working on the development of social impact investments for a number of years. In 2011, Clann Credo, The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Centre for Effective Services led a research project to identify high-potential SII areas in Ireland. Social Finance in the UK, the first organisation to launch an SII, advised during this process. This research culminated in a report which was presented to Government last year.