The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) has released an updated version of its Social Impact Calculator, a first-of-its-kind tool to assess the social impact of affordable housing and other community investments.

Nancy O. Andrews
Nancy O. Andrews

The calculator’s new features include the ability to calculate an internal rate of social return, select from different social discount rates, analyze multiple areas of impact for a single project, and assess cumulative impact across several projects.

Affordable housing developers have long believed that their projects provide more than shelter. The calculator helps estimate a development’s overall social impact.

“LIIF created the Social Impact Calculator last year to share our approach to measuring social impact and provide an open-source resource for the field. The new features reflect our evolving thinking and our efforts to better measure our work,” says Nancy O. Andrews, LIIF president and CEO. “We have appreciated the positive response to the calculator’s release and the conversations and feedback it has created. We look forward to continuing to engage with others who are seeking to measure, accelerate and communicate the social impact of community development projects.”

The updated version incorporates newly available research and data. For example, users can now quantify the long-term earnings impacts for children who gain access to affordable housing in low-poverty neighborhoods, rather than remaining in higher-poverty areas.

LIIF’s development of the Social Impact Calculator was made possible through the support of Morgan Stanley and the Ford Foundation.