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Comunidad Partners is prioritizing its residents’ health and well-being by providing free virtual health care services at its multifamily communities.

The minority and women-owned real estate investment firm, which has a core focus on workforce housing in underserved markets, is partnering with nonprofit service provider Veritas Impact Partners to pioneer this new program. The partners will leverage a large-scale telehealth contract with a Fortune 500 health care provider.

According to Antonio Marquez, managing partner of Comunidad Partners, this is the first time individuals and families can access free telehealth services at scale through an owner-operator. These services typically are only offered through employer insurance providers.

“There is an urgent need for immediate access to health care, especially in the current environment and with our residents who are the most vulnerable and at risk,” says managing partner Antonio Marquez. “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 and well-being.”

Comunidad Partners has invested in more than 40 developments, many of which are located in minority communities throughout the nation, with more than 10,000 workforce and affordable housing units.

With many minority communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 as well as other health-related issues, Marquez said this often stems from a larger systemic issue regarding a lack of investment in these communities, often leading to food deserts with no access to healthy foods and the lack of quality jobs that provide access to health care.

“In fact, minority communities tend to be the most underserved and underinsured in the U.S., which is why services like these are crucially important to address a critical need in this country and create health equity,” said Marquez, who is a second generation Mexican-American.

The partnership with Veritas and the rollout of virtual health care are just an extension of Comunidad’s social impact focus. The firm provides additional services to improve opportunity and positive outcomes for residents, including after-school, health and wellness, and equity and jobs programs as well as immigration assistance.

“It’s very simple: When you have healthy, well-paid residents, you have healthy, well-performing properties as it’s an interdependent, symbiotic relationship,” said 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.”