OAK PARK, MI - UnitedHealthcare is investing $18.3 million to help build two new affordable-housing communities in Hart and Oak Park, Michigan.
The announcement was made at a groundbreaking ceremony for Jefferson Oaks in Oak Park, where community leaders and investment partners celebrated the start of construction for the 60-unit mixed-income community. UnitedHealthcare is investing $14.6 million in the Oak Park development. Cinnaire is providing a $2.3 million permanent loan to the project.
Jefferson Oaks, developed by Community Housing Network Inc. (CHN), is being built on the site of a vacant school building and campus, which will be transformed into 20 apartments and eight new townhome-style buildings with an additional 40 homes. Twenty-one of the apartments are set aside for supportive housing. When completed in 2018, the new community will include on-site support services and amenities such as a community room with a library, computer lab and meeting space, and a playground.
“We are very excited to start the construction of this new community in Oak Park and appreciate the work of UnitedHealthcare, Cinnaire and our other partners in helping make this groundbreaking possible,” said Marc Craig, president of Community Housing Network. “When completed next year, Jefferson Oaks will be a model community that brings quality homes with on-site amenities for individuals and families who want a wonderful place to live and play.”
UnitedHealthcare also announced a $3.7 million investment in Woodland Place Apartments in Hart. The new 24-unit apartment community, developed by Gryphon Group LLC and Oceana County Housing Commission, will include 12 units for people living with special needs and struggling with homelessness. The development is being built to U.S. Green Building Council LEED environmental standards. West Michigan Community Mental Health will provide supportive services and case management for residents. Woodland Place Apartments will open in 2018.
“UnitedHealthcare’s investments to support affordable housing in Michigan are part of our initiative to help people live healthier lives by connecting them to housing, health care and other important services,” said Dennis Mouras, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan, which employs 1,100 people in Michigan and serves the health care needs of more than 800,000 people in the state. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with these partners to expand affordable housing in Michigan.”
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) approved the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the new developments, with Minnesota Equity Fund (MEF) and Cinnaire securing the equity funding from UnitedHealthcare. MEF and Cinnaire support community stabilization and economic development through partnerships with investors and mission-focused organizations through the use of federal tax credits and by providing creative loans, investments and best-in-class services to partners.
“Today marks an important milestone in helping create new models for quality, affordable housing in Michigan,” said Earl Poleski, executive director, MSHDA. “Jefferson Oaks will provide new hope and opportunity for the families and individuals who get to call it home.”
“Cinnaire partners with socially motivated companies like UnitedHealthcare to make economic investments in well-designed, high-quality affordable-housing developments,” said Mark McDaniel, president and CEO of Cinnaire. “These investments will help meet a critical need in Michigan to provide low-income individuals with quality, permanent housing with supportive services. We appreciate the commitment UnitedHealthcare has made to investing in affordable housing and creating healthy, vibrant communities.”
Last year, UnitedHealthcare invested $16.5 million in two new affordable-housing communities in Ypsilanti and Holt. A ribbon-cutting celebration was held today for one of those developments – Prestwick Village in Holt, a new 66-unit affordable-housing community with support services that provides new housing opportunities for individuals and families, including veterans struggling with homelessness and people with disabilities. UnitedHealthcare invested $8.5 million in Prestwick Village, which was developed by Gryphon Group and constructed by T.R. Hovey Construction LLC.
UnitedHealthcare has provided more than $350 million in financing since 2011 for 56 housing development projects in 14 states, creating more than 2,700 affordable-housing units. This includes $34.8 million in four new affordable housing communities in Michigan.