Universities Superannuation Scheme, London, made a minority investment in Pluto Finance, a property lender specializing in small and medium homebuilders, according to a joint news release.
The £82.2 billion ($112.9 billion) pension fund also committed £75 million to Pluto Finance's next housing lending fund.
The size of the minority investment was described as significant, but further details were not available.
Eamon Ray, senior investment director for USS Investment Management's private markets group, said in the announcement that the strategic partnership with Pluto highlights a commitment to long-term investment in the U.K. "The UK faces a chronic housing shortage and the sector requires long-term sustainable capital to meet national targets. We believe our partnership with a leading specialist in this sector will help bridge this gap in provision whilst providing our members with attractive returns to fund their pensions," Mr. Ray said.
As of March 31, of the £23.1 billion managed by USS Investment Management's private markets group, 59% is invested directly, while 32% is through a fund and 9% is through co-investments.
USS made its first investment in shared housing in July 2020, committing £300 million to Residential Secure Income, a debt facility investing in affordable shared ownership, retirement and local authority housing.
At the time, USS head of private credit Ben Levenstein said that the scheme had invested in property for many years due to the steady returns and a hedge against the future uncertainty presented by interest-rate or inflation movements. Investing in shared housing, where people can buy a share of a property and then pay rent, "is a situation where we can do all that and make a social impact at the same time," Mr. Levenstein said.