AUSTIN, TX - Comunidad Partners, a minority and women-owned real estate investment firm specializing in workforce / affordable housing in culturally diverse neighborhoods, has become one of the first apartment owners in the U.S. to roll out free virtual healthcare services to its residents.
“There is an urgent need for immediate access to healthcare, especially in the current environment and with our residents who are the most vulnerable and at-risk,” explains Antonio Marquez, Managing Partner at Comunidad Partners. “We view this amenity as an essential service to our workforce residents where many of them have lost health insurance during the pandemic or are underinsured. Plus, housing plays a pivotal role in health outcomes for residents and our responsibility is to ensure we provide resources to residents that can support their resiliency and help them look after their families’ health & well-being.”
Comunidad Partners partnered with Veritas Impact Partners, a nonprofit service provider for cost-burdened apartment residents to pioneer a new virtual healthcare program for multifamily communities that leverages a large-scale telehealth contract with a Fortune 500 healthcare provider. According to Marquez, this is the first time that individuals and families can access free telehealth services at scale through an owner-operator. These types of health services are typically only offered through employer insurance providers.
“Our core focus is on workforce housing communities in underserved markets across the U.S., which includes many minority communities,” says Marquez, who is a second generation Mexican-American and whose father immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s. “Many minority communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, among a variety of other health related issues. This often stems from a larger systemic issue regarding a lack of investment in these communities, often creating environments like food deserts where there is no access to healthy foods, quality jobs that provide access to healthcare and top medical facilities, among others. In fact, minority communities tend to be the most underserved and underinsured in the U.S., which is why services like this are crucially important to address a critical need in this country and creating health equity.”
The partnership with Veritas and these new telehealth offerings is an extension of Comunidad’s larger focus on social impact, through which the firm actively addresses key issues that impact residents’ daily lives. In addition to its focus on workforce and affordable housing, Comunidad offers a variety of programs and services within its communities that improve opportunity and positive outcomes for residents, including equity / jobs programs, health and wellness programs, immigration assistance, and after-school programs, among many others.
“Unlike many commercial real estate investors who believe that the physical property is the investment, we believe in the power of investing in the people who live in our communities,” explains Marquez. “By investing in people and elevating them to their highest and best potential, we believe the natural byproduct is improved property performance. Creating solutions to the problems that chronically plague lower- and middle-income residents - such as a lack of housing affordability, education, job advancement and access to health services - we are creating opportunity and upward mobility for our residents.”
“It’s very simple: when you have healthy, well-paid residents you have healthy, well-performing properties as it’s an interdependent, symbiotic relationship.” says Marquez. “Healthier residents with better access to tools for growth and advancement are more likely to stay employed, pay rent on time, and reduce turnover at each community. We understand that investing in people generates better outcomes than investing solely in a property as an isolated capital strategy. Being more holistic and integrating stakeholders into the value chain is a core tenet of our strategy because if all stakeholders don’t benefit from these opportunities then it becomes imbalanced and a zero-sum proposition and that is not a sustainable long-term strategy.”
About Comunidad Partners: Comunidad Partners is a dynamic real estate investment firm that specializes in workforce and affordable housing in culturally diverse neighborhoods. To date, the firm has invested in more than 40 communities throughout the country totaling more than 10,000 workforce and affordable housing units. Core to its investment strategy is creating culturally relevant, inclusive communities that are tailored to the various ethnicities living at its communities. The company specializes in revitalizing apartments in infill locations and implementing its proprietary cultural management platform.
About Veritas Impact Partners: Veritas Impact Partners is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on providing social impact services for cost-burdened apartment residents to help support pathways for health, education, and equity / economic advancement. Through partnerships with multifamily owner/operators, Veritas Impact Partners serves as the action arm for property social impact programming and driving improved outcomes for residents.