UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) has reached $500 million in affordable housing investments, with an announcement today of a $100 million investment in the Health & Housing Fund — a partnership with Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) and National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT).
This investment will bring more than 1,000 new homes to older adults and families struggling with housing insecurity. UnitedHealth Group, with its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses, will also provide an additional $1 million in grants to support on-site health-related services for residents. SAHF will measure, analyze and report on property residents’ health outcomes.
The first three housing developments being built with the latest $100 million investment include Anacostia Gardens in Washington, D.C., with 100 apartments developed by The NHP Foundation; Morning Star Apartments in Wharton, Texas, with 40 apartments developed by National Church Residences; and Bent Oak Village in Choctaw, Oklahoma, with 30 apartments developed by Volunteers of America.
“The connection between housing and health is undeniable and the COVID-19 pandemic has increasingly brought this further to the forefront as an urgent need throughout the communities we serve,” said Heather Cianfrocco, chief executive officer, UnitedHealthcare Community & State. “Through our continued leadership and investments in affordable housing and support services, we are helping drive better health outcomes for some of the nation’s most underserved populations.”
The investments are part of the company’s ongoing efforts to promote positive health outcomes through greater access to affordable housing. Since 2011, UnitedHealth Group has helped build 80 new affordable housing developments with 4,500 new homes in 18 states for people in need of affordable housing supportive services. This additional $100 million investment brings the number of new homes UnitedHealth Group has helped build to 5,500.
SAHF is a collaborative of 13 multi-state leading nonprofit affordable housing providers that own more than 140,000 affordable rental homes. NAHT is a nonprofit syndicator and consultant that raises equity from investors and directs the funds to nonprofit developers and owners who build, preserve and manage quality affordable housing with a focus on improving residents’ lives.
“Working together with UnitedHealth Group, we are building on our commitment to developing and operating affordable homes across the country that support improved health and well-being,” said Andrea Ponsor, chief executive officer, SAHF. “UnitedHealth Group’s leadership is demonstrating the importance of improving health outcomes through investments in quality, service-enriched housing.”
Research shows that 80% of an individual’s health is determined by what happens outside of a doctor’s office1. Housing stability, quality, safety and affordability all impact people’s health, as do physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods. Access to safe and affordable housing is one of the greatest barriers to better health for many people — with nearly 15 million Americans lacking access to stable housing today2.
“As the housing affordability crisis in the U.S. deepens, it affects the physical and mental health of millions,” said Lori Little, president and chief executive officer, NAHT. “UnitedHealth Group is setting the standard for how health care and affordable housing will work together.”
The locations of additional affordable housing to be built through UnitedHealth Group’s investment commitment will be announced in the coming months as development proposals are finalized.
Housing is one part of UnitedHealth Group’s multi-pronged commitment to redefine healthy living for the uninsured and underserved. The company is also investing in programs and partnerships focused on food, transportation and social isolation, including $80 million to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and support those most directly impacted by the public health emergency, including health care workers, hard-hit communities and older adults.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping to make the health system work better for everyone. 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. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.