Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2023

Social bond of the year - US muni bond: The City of New York

In October 2022, The City of New York issued $400 million of taxable General Obligation bonds, constituting its first-ever social bond transaction.

The bonds' net proceeds were used to reimburse prior spending on affordable housing projects under the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) Extremely Low and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) Program, Supportive Housing Loan Program (SHLP) and Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) Program.

Mayor Eric AdamsThe affordable housing projects supported by the social bonds include a total of 3,276 units across 16 projects in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, with 72% of the units serving households earning at or below 60% of Area Median Income and over 27% of the units serving those who were formerly homeless.

One Bond Awards judge called the bond an "important issuance to address an urgent need in NYC".

"Receiving the US Municipal Social Bond of the Year award not only affirms New York City's approach to capital financing, but also shows that we can be fiscally sound, while simultaneously supporting investor demand for socially conscious projects," said New York City mayor Eric Adams.

"Building more affordable housing is critical to advancing the vision laid out in our housing blueprint, and that is why our administration will continue to look for opportunities to build a stronger, more resilient city, while investing in projects that support the positive social and environmental changes we want to see in the world."

Brad Lander"The success of our first-ever social bond issuance showed strong investor interest in investments that help the City of New York create genuinely affordable housing to meet the needs of all New Yorkers," added New York comptroller Brad Lander.

"I am grateful to deputy comptroller for public finance Marjorie Henning and her team for spearheading this pioneering municipal finance effort along with the mayor's office of management and budget."

The bonds received orders four times in excess of the bond offering from both retail investors and over 70 institutional investors. The latter group was comprised of international investors, ESG investors, and US banks looking to fulfil regulatory requirements for community reinvestment.

Deal highlights:

Issuer: The City of New York
Size: $400 million
Maturity: 1 October 2052
Coupon: 5.263%
Use of proceeds: Reimburse spending on affordable housing. The bonds align with the Social Bond Principles and intend to contribute to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).
External review: S&P Global
Lead managers: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley
Credit ratings: Moody's (Aa2), S&P Global (AA), Fitch (AA-), Kroll (AA+)