Construction Underway for New Affordable-Housing Community for Military Veterans Struggling with Homelessness

  • 100-unit permanent supportive housing community to provide
    onsite support services to help ensure veterans have greater access to
    health, education and job-training programs
  • Funding received from many public-private partners, including
    $5.2 million in equity from UnitedHealth Group and $7.7 million in
    deferred loan funds from Minnesota Housing

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Struggling military veterans will have access to new housing and
resources to help end the cycle of homelessness, as construction is now
underway for a new, affordable-housing community in Minneapolis.

During a ceremonial groundbreaking for Veterans East, veterans groups,
project partners and community leaders heralded the new development as
vital in helping end homelessness among military veterans in Minnesota.
According to Heading Home Minnesota, a public-private partnership to end
homelessness, more than 10,000 Minnesotans are homeless on any given
night, including more than 279 veterans.

Funding for the $14.3 million veterans’ community, developed by the
Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC), was secured through a
collaboration of public- and private-sector partners.

“We are pleased to begin construction on this important new community
that will serve veterans who have struggled with homelessness,” said
Elizabeth Flannery, president of CHDC. “So many partners have come
together to help Veterans East become a place for veterans to call home.”

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is the largest private
investor, providing $5.2 million in equity through a partnership with
Minnesota Equity Fund, using Low Income Housing Tax Credits approved by
the state. Minnesota Housing, the other major investor, is providing
$7.7 million in deferred loan funds for the new development. Additional
funding includes $500,000 from Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des
Moines; $350,000 from Hennepin County; $260,000 from CHDC affiliates;
and $290,000 in energy and sales tax rebates.

“This new community will be a model for providing permanent housing and
services for military veterans,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner
Mary Tingerthal, who co-chairs the Minnesota Interagency Council on
Homelessness. “We are honored to join with so many partners to help end
veteran and chronic homelessness.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to play an integral part in helping
make a difference in the lives of military veterans who have given so
much for our country,” said retired Rear Adm. Elizabeth S. Niemyer,
Chief Program Officer, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans, a
UnitedHealth Group company that provides health care services for nearly
2.9 million service members, military retirees and their families. “This
is an important new housing community that will have a tremendous impact
in serving military veterans in our state for years to come.”

When completed in Summer 2017, the new 100-unit efficiency apartment
community will provide permanent supportive housing for veterans
struggling with homelessness. Through partnerships with the Veterans
Administration, CHDC, BDC Management Company and Hennepin County,
Veterans East will include onsite services to assist residents with
health care, case management, life skills, financial management,
benefits assistance, education and employment resources.

“This is a proud moment for our community,” said Hennepin County
Commissioner Peter McLaughlin. “The men and women who will be living at
Veterans East have endured many sacrifices while serving our nation, and
Veterans East will provide housing and support services to help lift
them up and out of poverty.”

The five-story property will feature a lobby with security, community
room with gas fireplace and kitchenette, laundry facility and resident
parking. Watson-Forsberg is the general contractor, and LHB is the

The $5.2 million investment by UnitedHealth Group is part of more than
$240 million the company has provided since 2011 to finance
affordable-housing communities with supportive services throughout the
United States. These investments have included $29 million for
affordable housing in Minnesota, including $7.2 million for the recently
completed CommonBond Veterans Community at Fort Snelling.

“MEF provides a vehicle for socially motivated corporations like
UnitedHealth Group and financial institutions to make economic
investments in well-designed, high-quality affordable-housing
developments in growing communities throughout Minnesota,” said Warren
Hanson, MEF president and CEO. “Our partnership in this new veterans
development will help meet the critical need to provide military
families with quality, permanent housing with supportive services.”

About Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC): CHDC has
provided stability to Minnesota residents and communities for more than
25 years as a nonprofit developer and owner of 44 properties with more
than 4,300 affordable units. CHDC’s properties provide housing for more
than 5,000 residents. CHDC was founded on the belief that long
term, nonprofit ownership is the best way to sustain high quality
affordable housing. Its mission is to develop quality housing for people
earning low incomes.

About the Minnesota Equity Fund (MEF): MEF is a subsidiary of the
Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF), a non-profit Community
Development Financial Institution. GMHF provides loans, equity
investments, grants and technical assistance to create affordable
housing in Minnesota. MEF is a strategic partnership between GMHF and
Cinnaire, a nationally recognized syndicator of low-income housing tax
credits with over $3 billion under management.

About Minnesota Housing Finance Agency: Minnesota Housing
finances affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income
Minnesotans while fostering strong communities. Find out more at,
Twitter @mnhousing and at

About UnitedHealth Group: UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a
diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people
live healthier lives and helping to make the health system work better
for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and
services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which
provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which
provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more
information, visit UnitedHealth Group at
or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.

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Elizabeth Flannery, 612-332-6264

Megan Ryan, 651-297-3566

Lynne High, 952-979-5861
Hanson, 651-221-1997 x107