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The Hémisphère Social Impact Fund aims to provide dedicated shelter accommodation for homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers across France. The fund was launched in the context of increasing demand for shelter places due to a long-term growth in the number of homeless people and asylum seekers across the country. One of the largest social impact bonds in Europe, the fund brings together a blend of EUR 100 million social impact investment from mainstream investors and a EUR 100 million conventional bank loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank . The fund has been used to purchase and renovate 62 hotels for the purpose of delivering dedicated shelter places and social support services . The fund uses an innovative social impact investment arrangement in which a portion of investor remuneration is tied to the achievement of social outcomes. The intention of the fund is to improve social outcomes for accommodation users whilst at the same time reducing the delivery costs for the government.

This case study begins by providing an overview of the context in which the Hémisphère Social Impact Fund was launched, and the policy challenge it seeks to address. It then offers insights into the Fund’s development process and contractual structure and outlines the outcomes framework that is used in part to calculate investor remuneration.

The case study concludes by highlighting some of the key insights from the Hémisphère Social Impact Fund. In particular, the case study reflects on how the scale and risk sharing arrangements within the Fund may offer an alternative way to develop impact bond approaches at scale; how a focus on outcomes can drive more transparency and better performance management in the provision of public services; and the implications of using social impact investment for the provision of public services.

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