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Oceana County's Woodland Place addressing affordable-housing and healthcare costs

house and key

In Oceana County, the opening of a $4.2 million, 24-unit affordable-housing community was celebrated this week. What makes it unique are the residents - and the project’s largest investor working to improve their lives - and lowering the cost of healthcare. The new residents of Woodland Place Community Building are people with special needs, domestic violence survivors and the homeless.

UnitedHealthcare investing $3.7 million into the $4.2 million dollar affordable-housing community. United is spending $35 million across Michigan constructing affordable-housing communities like Woodland Place. We wanted to know why a for-profit healthcare company is making that commitment?

“What we’ve seen with our Medicaid business, for example, a direct link between homelessness and health issues.”

Dennis Mouras is the Chief Executive Officer for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan.

“Putting people in homes is very obvious to us that it generates better health outcomes for people and better health overall. And so our goal at United is to help people live healthier lives, and make the healthcare system work better for everyone, and doing things like this project on affordable housing investments is one of the things that does that.”

What Mouras finds interesting about this affordable housing community is that it’s not just for his company’s membership. UnitedHealthcare will have support staff on the ground.

“In Hart, we’re talking about 24 units, and in those 24 units 12 of the units are reserved for permanent supportive housing with services that are targeting homeless persons, persons with special needs and survivors of domestic violence, and in that includes some of the wraparound services that those folks would need.”

Oceana Home Partnership is coordinating those services.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.