UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) announced an additional $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). The announcement brings the company’s total investments in affordable housing to nearly $800 million, resulting in the creation of nearly 19,000 homes for individuals and families struggling with housing insecurity, more than 1,000 of which will be a direct result of the new investment.
Construction is already underway in East Point, Ga.; Monroe, N.C.; and Beaverton, Ore.; for three affordable housing communities that will provide nearly 250 homes for older adults and families. Additional affordable housing locations will be announced in the coming months as development proposals are finalized. A $1 million investment will support on-site health-related services for residents in those communities and be used by SAHF to measure, analyze and report on property residents’ health outcomes.
“The need for affordable housing and the connection between housing and health continues to be top of mind throughout the communities we serve,” said Tim Spilker, chief executive officer, UnitedHealthcare Community & State, a UnitedHealth Group business. “Our work to address social determinants and help to create new affordable housing opportunities that include support services is driving better health outcomes for some of the nation’s most underserved populations.”
UnitedHealth Group announced its national partnership with SAHF and NAHT in June 2020, which initially provided $118 million in funding for 15 affordable housing communities in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
The company also provided more than $1 million in grants to support on-site health-related services for residents in 2020.
“Our partnership with UnitedHealth Group is having a positive impact, helping provide new healthy, affordable homes in communities where a persistent need exists for affordable housing,” said Andrea Ponsor, president and chief executive officer, SAHF. “This additional $100 million investment clearly demonstrates UnitedHealth Group’s continued focus and leadership on improving health outcomes through investments in quality, service-enriched housing.”
SAHF is a collaborative of 12 multistate leading nonprofit affordable housing providers that own more than 149,000 affordable rental homes. NAHT is a nonprofit syndicator and development consultant that raises equity from investors and directs the funds to nonprofit and mission-aligned developers and owners who build, preserve and manage quality affordable housing with a focus on improving residents’ lives.
“Availability and access to safe and affordable housing remains one of the greatest barriers to better health for many people, affecting the physical and mental health of millions,” said Lori Little, president and chief executive officer, NAHT. “UnitedHealth Group continues to set the standard for how health care and affordable housing work together.”
Research shows that 80% of an individual’s health is determined by what happens outside of a doctor’s office. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, COVID-19, coupled with economic conditions, has brought devastating harm to millions of families with 70% of the nation’s 10.8 million extremely low-income renter households being severely burdened by housing costs, spending more than half of their incomes on rent and utilities.
Promoting positive health outcomes through greater access to affordable housing is one part of UnitedHealth Group’s multi-pronged commitment to redefine healthy living for the uninsured and underserved. Since 2011, through its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses, the company has helped build new affordable housing developments in 26 states and the District of Columbia for people in need of affordable housing supportive services. The investments are made through the use of Low-Income Housing Investment Tax Credits (LIHTC), Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) loans, and direct investments by the company.
The company is also investing in programs and partnerships focused on food, health literacy, behavioral health and social isolation, including $100 million to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and support those most directly impacted by the public health emergency, such as health care workers, hard-hit communities and older adults.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a health care and well-being company with a mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone through two distinct and complementary businesses. Optum delivers care aided by technology and data, empowering people, partners and providers with the guidance and tools they need to achieve better health. UnitedHealthcare offers a full range of health benefits, enabling affordable coverage, simplifying the health care experience, and delivering access to high-quality care. Visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com and follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.