UnitedHealth Group today announced an innovative partnership with Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. (Enterprise), a national leader in the affordable housing and community development industry, to provide up to $50 million to finance affordable-housing projects in targeted communities throughout the United States.
The partnership will invest in projects that qualify for federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) or Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.
The UnitedHealth Group Affordable Housing Investment Program brings together one of the nation’s top health and well-being companies with one of the nation’s leading advocates for affordable housing to create housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income people. Through Enterprise, the program will provide critical equity for the development of affordable rental housing projects to which housing tax credits have been allocated. The $50 million commitment by UnitedHealth Group will support efforts to strengthen the local community-based organizations that create affordable housing with a focus on serving low-income families, households with special needs and the growing population of aging adults.
The first three projects being funded through the new program were announced today with New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez participating in a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation and expansion of Stage Coach Apartments in Santa Fe. The $9.7 million investment in Stage Coach will provide 60 LEED-certified rental housing units, developed by The Housing Trust, targeting residents from 40 percent to 60 percent of the area median income. A total of 25 percent of the units will be set aside for special-needs households.
Two additional projects were also announced: a $5.1 million investment in Mountain View Apartments in Deming, a 48-unit rental apartment complex for aging adults and special needs individuals at 50 percent of the area median income; and a $6.7 million investment in Robledo Ridge Apartments, a LEED-certified, 72-unit multifamily rental apartment complex in Las Cruces that will serve special-needs households and families at 30 percent to 50 percent of the area median income.
“This is an exciting new partnership and an excellent example of a company investing locally to improve the communities where they serve,” said Gov. Martinez. “Working together with various community partners and government agencies, this partnership by UnitedHealth Group and Enterprise will improve the lives of hundreds of families who are in need of housing while creating new jobs and providing an economic boost in our state.”
The three New Mexico projects represent a $22 million investment by UnitedHealth Group in the state, which will create 300 construction and permanent jobs and will add an additional 180 housing units in these communities. The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) allocated LITHC equity and provided additional financing for each of the three projects.
UnitedHealth Group operates under the UnitedHealthcare and OptumHealth banners in New Mexico. UnitedHealthcare serves the health care needs of more than 150,000 New Mexicans, including individuals enrolled in employer-sponsored plans, as well as Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. UnitedHealthcare operates six offices and employs nearly 300 people statewide.
OptumHealth New Mexico employs more than 200 people across the state managing behavioral health services for the estimated 450,000 New Mexicans enrolled in Medicaid, and for the thousands of people who rely on state and federal funds for crucial services. OptumHealth has helped enhance New Mexico’s behavioral health care system by improving programs that support people with disabilities, increasing community-based programs, expanding access to care in rural areas, and increasing access and services used by Native American Tribes.
“OptumHealth is grateful for the opportunity to work with Enterprise Community Investment, Gov. Martinez and the many state and local agencies and organizations to ensure New Mexico’s seniors, low-income families and families with special needs have access to affordable housing,” said Dawn Owens, CEO of OptumHealth. “We look forward to working with our partners in the coming months to complete these New Mexico projects and announce additional affordable-housing opportunities in other states through this innovative program.”
Enterprise helps communities build and preserve affordable housing and has a history of financing good-quality homes and apartment buildings that are specifically intended to be affordable to low- and modest-income people and families. It has had a local presence in New Mexico for more than 15 years and will use the $50 million in LIHTC equity to invest in affordable housing in communities where UnitedHealth Group has a presence. Additional project announcements in other states will be made in the coming months.
“Enterprise is proud to collaborate with UnitedHealth Group to increase affordable housing opportunities for low-income families,” said Charlie Werhane, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Investment. “As Enterprise nears its 30th anniversary, we are proud to advance our mission of helping to create affordable, thriving and diverse communities. Through partnerships such as this, true community renewal can be accomplished.”
The partnership will collaborate with community-based partners where the projects are located. This includes, among others, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state housing agencies, developers and various local community organizations. The program encourages housing projects that are LEED certified with environmental and energy-efficient components that make them models in their communities.
The UnitedHealth Group Affordable Housing Investment Program is one of several community initiatives undertaken by the company that are providing millions of dollars each year to help fund local infrastructure projects to improve the quality of life for residents in communities where UnitedHealth Group conducts business. For example, the California Health Care Investment Program has provided more than $200 million in total capital to 29 health care organizations in California that provide services to underserved, low-income and underinsured communities and populations.
About Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.
Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For nearly 30 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested $11 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 280,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Visit www.enterprisecommunity.org and www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information.