Ian Shapiro

Chief Executive



Reall are innovators and investors in climate-smart affordable housing in urban Africa and Asia, with more than 30 years’ experience working in global housing markets. We’ve improved the lives of three million people, created over 200,000 jobs, brought clean water to half a million people, and sustainable sanitation to over a million. We are now scaling up, with a mission to transform markets and improve the lives of 100 million people by 2030.

Reall and our partners demonstrate commercially viable models for climate-smart affordable housing. We amplify impact through strategic policy change, disruptive financial innovation, and open-source data. We blend proof of concept and market evidence to overcome systemic barriers, enabling people on low incomes access to an affordable home. A clean green home is a transgenerational asset, transforming lives by driving job creation, gender equality, urban resilience, and pathways to net-zero.

Catalysing a green affordable homes revolution is not just the right thing to do – it is the smart thing to do. In a world of worsening climate impacts and rapid city growth, further unsustainable housing practices pose a material risk to the world. Climate-smart, affordable homes offer a doorway to green growth, driving down emissions and building resilience in climate-vulnerable communities.

Reall is a proud signatory to the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero, the UN Global Compact and are also working to certify it’s affordable housing with EDGE Buildings.

Since the early 2000s, Reall’s cornerstone investors have been the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

We are working with a number of green affordable housing developers across four priority countries to incubate their businesses and aggregate their projects onto a platform with a collective larger investment ticket size.

One of the key blockages to unlocking the flow of green affordable housing in much of Africa and Asia is the absence of appropriate end user finance such as mortgages. Without such solutions in place, housing developers cannot guarantee offtake and there is no confirmed exit for investors, inhibiting the flow of much needed capital for this highly impactful sector delivering for people, profit and planet. Yet a compelling and growing evidence base demonstrates that low-income groups can service long-term housing finance when modelled appropriately. Reall is collaborating with data partners, fintech start-ups and finance providers to catalyse appropriate housing finance products for low-income groups. Thereby unlocking affordable homes as an attractive green infrastructure investment proposition.

Reall is working with UN-Habitat’s Cities Investment Facility. This is a facility designed to provide comprehensive support to sustainable urbanization projects in the processes of pre-feasibility, SDG profiling and financing.  Reall is supporting UN-Habitat on the processes and framework for identifying and progressing affordable housing initiatives through to investment readiness.

You can visit our website to learn about our ambitious mission and read our Build and Broker approach to transforming housing markets from our Corporate Strategy, 2020-2025. Explore our Data Dashboard to read open project data and statistics, spanning over 160 projects delivered from our portfolio of 15 countries. Hear about our lasting impact from homeowner case studies, partner stories and published policy briefs from our Knowledge Hub. You can also keep up to date with the latest news from Reall by singing up to our online newsletter, Reall Talk. Collaboration and relationship building with sector stakeholders are key to driving wider market change, contact us via our website or social channels to get in touch.

Our network of housing developers, proptech, fintech and data partners across Africa and Asia work closely with cities whilst our increasing collaboration with city-based networks and multilaterals such as UN-Habitat help keep us up to speed with developments in the city climate finance space. We hope that our new membership of the CCFLA will enhance our understanding further and we look forward to collaboration opportunities.

We are keen to learn from fellow members around experience and opportunities in reaching a wider investment audience. We recognise that investment in climate infrastructure, particularly focused on building resilience, is woefully under-resourced especially across Africa. We look to share experiences and explore potential collaboration with fellow members to incubate investment opportunities at scale and crowd-in funding.

The Alliance provides an opportunity to explore mechanisms for unlocking appropriate finance at scale, both for pioneering innovation and proof-of-concept work as well as the proven opportunities able to operate at scale. The former, deemed riskier, is often under-resourced limiting the ability for net-zero urbanisation solutions to emerge. Bringing both cities and the private sector round the table is also essential and we welcome shared experience and co-creation on this.

And a lot more we’re sure!

Reall will bring understanding, experience and tangible examples of the climate investment opportunity presented by green affordable homes. This is a largely untapped $17 trillion high-impact market opportunity. We have experience of creating green assets through the deployment of a range of financial mechanisms including debt, equity, co-investment, guarantees, credit lines alongside soft finance for technical support and business growth.

Reall is committed to an open-source approach, sharing data and learning from our investment portfolio in order to unlock resource flows and catalyse markets. We have experience, both successes and challenges, of different financial mechanisms and partnerships for investing in green housing developers and projects across 12 countries.  Reall can also help bring in private sector perspectives to the work of the Alliance.

With buildings and construction accountable for 39% of GHG emissions and 70% of the buildings that will exist in Africa and Asia by 2050 yet to be built, there is a huge investment opportunity, as well as climate necessity, to embed green city growth.