UnitedHealthcare is making a $5.1 million low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) investment to help finance and transform a vacant three-story commercial building into Walnut Avenue Apartments in Boston.
Located in the city’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, the affordable housing development will feature 30 studio apartments, a 20-bed medical support facility, and an array of onsite social services for residents to help lift them out of homelessness.
Transitional support includes counseling, assistance in daily living skills, job-readiness training, home budgeting, case management, and crisis intervention.
UnitedHealthcare’s investment is being made in partnership with Enterprise Community Investment, a LIHTC syndicator and affordable housing firm, as part of an initiative by UnitedHealthcare to build affordable housing with supportive services.
Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $175 million in affordable housing that qualify for federal LIHTCs. UnitedHealthcare and Enterprise have worked together to invest $83 million of those resources in developments in six states, including Massachusetts.
“Expanding access to affordable housing is important in breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty, and helping people live healthier lives,” said Stephen Farrell, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of New England, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, in a statement. “Walnut Avenue Apartments will be a tremendous boost to Jamaica Plain, providing affordable housing and services to help people in need.”
UnitedHealthcare employs nearly 1,000 people in Massachusetts and serves the health-care needs of nearly 380,000 Massachusetts residents, including people enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual plans, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as military service members, military retirees, and their families.
“Enterprise is proud of our partnership with UnitedHealthcare and grateful for its support of affordable-housing communities like Walnut Avenue Apartments,” said Charlie Werhane, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Investment. “At Enterprise, we are committed to ending housing insecurity within a generation, which means no more homelessness and no more families paying more than half of their income on housing. This new community brings us closer to that goal by creating opportunity for so many people and providing them with connections to health care, jobs, good schools and transportation.”
Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp. is developing the property in collaboration with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and the Pine Street Inn.