Green House Blog

10 On 10: Ten Leaders In Aging Reflect On Ten Years Of Green House Homes

Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked to change the way elders live in long term care.  Currently, there are 153 open and operating Green House homes 25 states with many more in development. In fact there are 24 more homes scheduled to open in 2014, and we are gaining momentum.  Because of these innovations, over 1550 elders are able to live, grow and thrive in real home environments where they are able to give and receive the care that they need.

In honor of our 10th Anniversary, we reached out to 10 thought leaders in the field of aging, and asked them to share their perspective on the impact that The Green House model has made on aging and long term care.  Below you will see the support that they voiced for this model, and the work that has been done to move the field forward.

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this strong statement that Aging and Long-Term Care can be different.

AARP Foundation Invests in Green House homes

Contact:

Hillary John

(202) 434-2560 | media@aarp.org | @AARPMedia

AARP Foundation Invests $2.5 Million in Innovative Housing Strategies to Help Vulnerable 50+ Population

Washington, D.C. – AARP Foundation is pleased to announce $2.5 million in investments to fund three housing organizations that serve the vulnerable, 50+ population. The Foundation’s new impact investment instrument will serve as a valuable funding source for these organizations while at the same time spark housing solutions for low-income people age 50 and older. Each investment will create or preserve homes for residents who are measurably low-income and over 50 years of age.  The investments will leverage market-rate financing to multiply impact.

AARP Foundation’s Program Related Investment (PRI) aims to create new models of housing that are scalable and replicable; that result in an increase in affordable and adequate housing to fill the gap in surrounding rural housing and rental housing; and finally, to increase the number of affordable and/or adequate units of housing.

“As people age, their need for safe and affordable housing grows more critical.  For vulnerable older Americans housing upkeep is a challenge to maintain, particularly in these tough economic times,” said AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins. “By utilizing this ‘new’ instrument of impact investment, AARP Foundation will be a catalyst for organizations to leverage these funds and make sure more families can find a way back to stability.”

At least 13 million people who live in low-income, 50+ households struggle with unaffordable and/or inadequate housing.  The Housing Impact Area of AARP Foundation seeks to win back opportunity for the struggling 50 and older population by helping to preserve adequacy and affordability within current homes; increasing the supply of adequate and affordable housing; raising awareness of housing needs of the low-income 50+ population; and building thought leadership ideas on the subject through various research techniques.

The national organizations that were selected by AARP Foundation include the following:

·   NCB Capital Impact will use the investment from AARP Foundation to bring to scale The Green House Project’s innovative nursing care model, which offers an alternative approach to the traditional nursing home. Elements of Green House homes including their small scale, unique staffing model, and home-like layout, restore the dignity and sense of wellbeing to elders in need of nursing care.  This model is very exciting because of the potential for broad-scale market adoption across a variety of geographic and demographic markets, as well as a wide range of income levels. The AARP Foundation funds will bolster support to The Green House Project, also generously supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Weinberg Foundation.

·      An investment with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc., to help fill the financing gap in the creation of affordable rental housing, rural housing and livable communities with a focus on low-income seniors. In addition to housing, Enterprise also invests in federally qualified health centers to provide and expand community-based health services for low- and moderate-income individuals.

·      The third organization, ROC USA®, will use the AARP Foundation investment to empower owners of manufactured homes, a vulnerable and aging group, to cooperatively purchase the land on which their homes are located.  This serves a unique but growing niche in that manufactured housing is the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the country.  www.rocusa.org

“All of these projects aim to build, retrofit or purchase safe and affordable housing that not only helps older residents avoid high housing cost burdens, but also addresses their need for community either by helping them age in place or create a new community based a non-institutional model,” added Jenkins.

 About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.

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Provider Magazine Highlights Flexible Funding for Green House homes

Provider Magazine tracks the pulse of the industry and serves as the leading source of business and clinical news for long term and post-acute care professionals.  Long term care providers know that the demands of the consumer are changing.  So why do many nursing homes still look the same way they did 20 years ago?  One barrier to transformation may be in the ability to find, “low-cost, flexible financing sources”.  New financing programs are being created to remove this barrier, and to support Green House home development.

In 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading health foundation, made a $10 million Program-Related Investment (PRI) in NCB Capital Impact and The Green House Project to make it easier for more providers to obtain flexible financing and build Green House homes.  In making this investment, the foundation saw a unique potential for The Green House model to address the nation’s growing shortage of affordable, high-quality long term care options for low-income elders.
As an initiative of NCB Capital Impact, The Green House Project has also been able to leverage the financial expertise of this group, “Because NCB Capital Impact is enlisting additional investors—like the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and AARP Foundation—to leverage RWJF funding in any individual project by a ratio of four to one, the total financing opportunity is actually substantially larger than the foundation’s initial investment.”  These resources are creating opportunities for long term care providers to meet the demand of their customer for small, real home environments.
The Green House model has a proven track record for delivering high quality care at roughly the same cost as a traditional nursing home.  Additionally, consumer research found that caregivers would be willing to drive further and pay more to have this type of home as an option for their loved one.
Because the RWJF and NCB Capital Impact loan pool needs to be entirely distributed by 2014, interested providers should begin exploring the option as soon as possible. To find out more about tapping into RWJF and NCB Capital Impact financing for Green House projects, contact Maura Porcelli at (703) 647-2311 or mporcelli@ncbcapitalimpact.org.
 

Bringing Game-Changing Ideas to Scale

The Green House Project has been called the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) signature example of bringing game-changing ideas to scale. It started with an idea 12 years ago for a housing and skilled-nursing care environment that could provide a better, warmer, and more dignified alternative to traditional nursing home facilities for frail elders. Today, there are 137 Green House homes in 22 states across the U.S., with many more in development.

In this case study for The Green House Project, Jane Isaacs Lowe, Vulnerable Populations team director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), shares the strategy around bringing an innovation to scale.  She believes that “when it comes to nurturing social innovation and bringing effective solutions to where they are needed most, this is the dawn of a new era.”

To read the full article, click here