AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) — A new report challenges the idea that investing in more affordable housing developments yields lower returns than luxury apartments — bringing added weight to a local fund that aims to maintain cheaper housing.

The report from faculty at Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin finds moderate-income rental housing is a viable and profitable investment for those seeking to support a fund that embraces environmental, social and governance principles or ESG.

Supported by Affordable Central Texas Inc., which controls a low-cost housing fund in Austin that has raised tens of millions of dollars, and the Wells Fargo Foundation, the study aimed to define a profitable asset class called moderate-income rental housing or MIRH.