Danish pension funds AP Pension and PKA have backed a European affordable and sustainable housing fund launched by Patrizia.

Patrizia said its Sustainable Communities I fund, which seeks to raise €500m, has secured €125m in an initial close from the two Danish pension funds. The fund had also secured its first seed investment project in Dublin.

The fund aims to provide thousands of affordable homes, including social housing, and additional social infrastructure to underserved communities in around 25 locations in and around major European cities, the manager said.

Marleen Bikker-Bekkers, fund manager of Patrizia Sustainable Communities, said: “Thanks to the commitments from AP Pension and PKA, we are now ready to start our seed investment project in Dublin, Ireland, where there are over 60,000 people on the social housing waiting list and affordability is a major issue.

“For this first project, we will provide 290 social and affordable apartments, which is aimed at improving the quality of life of its residents by making them feel part of a vibrant community.”

Bikker-Bekkers said the manager is in talks with a further group of international investors to follow the example of AP Pension and PKA and “join our equity raising initiative which has a target of around €500m in capital so we can further increase our sustainable impact across European cities”.

The head of real estate at PKA, Nikolaj Stampe, said: “We are thrilled to continue our longstanding investment relationship with Patrizia with whom we share a passion for making a positive environmental and social impact.

”This is a great opportunity to further work on our common goal to create and invest in sustainable homes across Europe and at the same time provide our members with good financial returns.”

Peter Olsson, CEO at AP Property, the property company of AP Pension, said: “With our investment in Patrizia Sustainable Communities, we can give hard-working people the opportunity to live in attractive, sustainable housing close to their places of work in nearby cities.

”We see this fund as a way - to positively influence the development of sustainable real estate and construction. We are pursuing the same ambitious goals as we have for our own developments in Denmark, only this time, we are applying them to a pan-European strategy.”

Mathieu Elshout, the fund chairman and Patrizia’s head of sustainability and impact investing, said: “As a fund, Patrizia Sustainable Communities is not only closely aligned to SFDR - Article 9 in terms of its sustainable investment goals but in terms of Article 9’s robust disclosure requirements.

“The fund which is also fully aligned with the UN SDGs, provides a dual return to investors. This dual return consists of a financial risk adjusted return, on the one hand, and measurable positive social and environmental outcomes, on the other.”

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