Revitalizing affordable, healthy housing in East Point, Georgia

June 04, 2024

After spending the past 12 years in College Park, Georgia, Eboni and Yahnnes Ford were inspired to move into Aya Tower after seeing the building renovations in progress. They passed by the evolving property almost daily while commuting via train and wondered how it would turn out.

“We were just so intrigued by it,” said Eboni, who was especially drawn in by the healthy lifestyle perks and eco-friendly elements of the building that aligned with her personal values.

The Fords noticed the health advantages of their new home quickly. Yahannes, who works for Sandy Springs Park and Recreation, frequents the state-of-the-art weight room, and they both enjoy the walking path adjacent to the building.

“When we moved in, I noticed that I wasn't having the headaches that I used to have,” said Eboni, who attributes that in part to the fresh air she gets on her walks. “Our breathing was a lot better, and I think that’s because of this environment, especially with the East Point path.”

UnitedHealth Group leaders recently joined Aya Tower residents, local community members and business partners in East Point, Georgia, to celebrate the grand opening of a revitalized affordable housing development made possible by the company’s $18 million investment through the enterprise through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).


UnitedHealth Group partnered with housing developer the Vecino Group, the National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT) and the East Point Housing Authority (EPHA) on the $24 million redevelopment of a property that has been closed since 2004 and now includes 88 affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments for families earning between $30,000 and $40,000 annually. The property is managed by Wingate Properties Management and opened to residents earlier this year.


A community in need

With Atlanta being one of America’s largest and fastest-growing markets, this affordable property option relieves financial pressure on low- and middle-income families while giving them resources to better their health.

The Fords said they take advantage of plenty of healthy food options nearby, especially the fresh, organic produce at the local market.

“I definitely see the future of East Point expanding and growing,” Eboni said. “The atmosphere is exactly like a home that you can grow in. I just think it's phenomenal.”

And where there was once a vacant, rundown building now lies a refreshing addition to the local community that features a visually enticing exterior mural created by Atlanta-based artist Erica Chisolm, paying homage to former East Point Mayor Patsy Jo Hilliard.

“This development is poised to be transformative for East Point,” said Wesley Brown, director of development, southeast for the Vecino Group. “Together with our partners, we turned blight into beauty.”


The big picture

UnitedHealth Group also worked to identify and recruit health services through Grady Health System, and workforce readiness training through Goodwill of North Georgia. Plus, a neighboring health and wellness center is in the works.


“Safe and affordable housing is key to health and wellness. UnitedHealth Group is honored to support East Point residents by increasing the availability of housing, as well as supportive services that help ensure better health and wellness among residents.”

Catherine Anderson | senior vice president of Health Equity Strategy at UnitedHealth Group

Our commitment

UnitedHealth Group’s coordinated investment strategy in housing, health and social services demonstrates a deep commitment to advancing health equity. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, households that struggle to pay the rent are at a heightened risk for negative health outcomes.

The Aya Tower investment is just the latest example of UnitedHealth Group’s housing tax credit financing, which the company has been practicing for more than a decade to promote positive health outcomes through greater access to affordable housing.

  • UnitedHealth Group’s total investments in affordable housing have surpassed $1 billion.
  • This funding has created more than 25,000 homes for individuals and families struggling with housing insecurity.

Learn more about UnitedHealth Group’s commitment to building a modern, high-performing heath system, including advancing health equity.