The big news at fourth annual Green House Project Meeting and Celebration in Birmingham, Ala., Sept. 8-9 was the announcement that the Green House movement is receiving an additional $10 million investment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help finance Green House Projects serving low-income communities.
RWJF has partnered with NCB Capital Impact, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Green House Project, to provide the 10-year, $10 million low-interest credit facility. The investment is the first part of a new $100 million “impact capital” campaign launched by RWJF to help the Foundation and its grantees leverage funding from multiple sources.
“Our goal with this initiative is to go beyond traditional grantmaking, to drive social change, achieve measurable impact and collaborate with partners who can help us achieve our mission,” Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said in a statement. “This commitment allows us to better leverage our funding and spread innovative models, like the Green House Project.”
Bringing a Proven Model of Care to Low-Income Seniors
Since 2002, the Foundation has awarded $12 million, primarily to NCB Capital Impact, to develop, test and evaluate the Green House model. The model provides an environment in which residents receive nursing support and clinical care without the care becoming the focus of their daily lives. By altering the facility size, interior design, staffing patterns and methods of delivering skilled services to residents, the Green House model provides residents greater health and lifestyle benefits compared to residents of traditional nursing facilities.
The Foundation’s new program investment builds on its past support with the goal of helping the model achieve greater reach and impact. Specifically, the new investment will lower the cost of financing Green House projects to serve low-income individuals and low-income areas. NCB Capital Impact will serve as administrator for the loan fund and will seek investors to leverage Foundation funding in any one project by a ratio of 4-to-1.
“This $10 million investment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation clearly demonstrates that the Foundation is committed to providing the leadership to replicate the Green House model and increase access for low-income elders,” said Terry Simonette, president and CEO of NCB Capital Impact. “It also highlights the Foundation’s confidence in the Green House model as an economic enterprise that can provide important services while also generating sufficient cash flow to repay investments.”
Earlier this year, AARP called the Green House Project “a model for aging that promotes growth.” Long-Term Living magazine also recently named it one of the decade’s Top 10 Senior Design Innovations. Early results show that Green House residents report higher satisfaction levels, less physical decline and less depression—at a cost that is comparable to traditional nursing facilities. To date there are 100 Green House homes in 27 states.
“Like everyone else, low-income seniors want to live in their own homes. When that becomes impossible, they want to get the care they need in an environment that becomes a new and real home,” explained Robert Jenkens, who directs the Green House Project. “This investment will have a major impact on the number of seniors and families who benefit directly and it will help change the face of long-term care.”