Where people live, work and play can dramatically impact their health outcomes and life expectancy. Financing affordable housing and mixed-use real estate developments that strengthen community and environmental health is key to neighborhood revitalization, particularly for those in economically under-resourced communities. Investing in efforts that increase access to employment, healthy food, public transportation and walkable areas leads not only to more vibrant and inclusive neighborhoods, but also improved health for the people who live there.
UnitedHealth Group recently made a $25 million commitment to the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund II (HNEF II). HNEFII finances the development of inclusive mixed-income, mixed-use properties. These developments, located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, are transit-oriented and offer retail, housing, and services to support healthier communities.
The HNEF II was launched by Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) and Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). It pairs lower-cost equity and longer investment periods with rigorous screening using CLF’s HealthScore tool.
HealthScore is a comprehensive investment screening tool that uses quantitative and qualitative data to examine potential community, environmental, and health impacts. This tool offers more than 100 measures of criteria for healthy and inclusive neighborhoods, such as:
- housing choice and affordability
- economic opportunity
- opportunities to advance regional health equity and reduce health disparities
- access to green space
- climate resiliency
Increasing access to affordable housing is one part of UnitedHealth Group’s commitment to redefining healthy living for underserved individuals and promoting positive health outcomes. We have made nearly $800 million in affordable housing investments so far.