Sustainability bond of the year - US muni bond - New York State Homes and Community Renewal

Channels: Green Bonds

The New York State Housing Finance Agency issued its inaugural sustainability bond in June 2019, in a deal that it is thought to have made it the first US municipality to follow the Sustainability Bond Guidelines.

Deal Highlights

Issuer: New York State Housing Finance Agency
Size: $129.975 million
Maturity: 2021-2052 (31 tranches)
Coupon: 1.35% - 3.25%
Use of proceeds: Affordable housing, energy efficiency
External reviewer: Sustainalytics
Lead managers: Morgan Stanley, Ramirez & Co., UBS
Credit Rating: Moody's Aa2
Other highlights/notable features: First bond issued under the Sustainability Bond Guidelines by US muni

The $130 million transaction attracted more than $700 million in orders, including $215 million in orders from what the issuer said were sustainability-focused investors.

The issuer overhauled its offering memorandum to satisfy the Sustainability Bond Guidelines, link its framework with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and include details of its Climate Bonds Initiative certification. It also said it worked with institutional investors to improve disclosure of the impacts of its sustainability bonds.

The Agency said it included more extensive project level detail in the offering statement than previously, as well as information such as project location, mix of income levels of units being financed, various subsidy programmes, and the 'green characteristics' of the projects "to make evaluation of the financing easier for investors".

The proceeds from the June transaction were used to finance affordable, energy-efficient housing units in the state of New York, while also contributing towards UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No poverty), 7 (Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy) and 11 (Sustainable cities and communities).

Following the issuance of its inaugural sustainability bond in June, New York State offered two more Sustainability Bond transactions under the new framework. The issues raised a total of nearly $600 million and included the State's largest ever 'sustainable' transaction in December 2019, worth $444 million, to fund 17 new 'affordable' projects throughout the state.