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Construction Begins on Gini’s House – a $7.2 Million Development That Will Bring 18 Supportive Housing Units to Norwalk



  Construction Begins on Gini’s House – a $7.2 Million Development That Will
  Bring 18 Supportive Housing Units to Norwalk

  * Community leaders and project partners celebrate start of the project with
    groundbreaking
  * UnitedHealthcare commits $5.2 million in financing through Low Income
    Housing Tax Credit partnership with Enterprise Community Investment

Business Wire

NORWALK, Conn. -- April 19, 2013

Community leaders and project partners joined today to celebrate the start of
construction on Gini’s House, an affordable supportive housing development in
Norwalk that will bring 18 quality one-and two-bedroom apartments to the
Norwalk community.

The $7.2 million project is a substantial rehabilitation of a vacant
four-story building previously used as a skilled nursing facility. The
building will be completely redesigned to incorporate a new interior layout
including an elevator, all new mechanical and electrical systems, roof
replacement, new windows and exterior siding.

Once construction is complete in spring of 2014, Gini’s House will consist of
17 two-bedroom and 1 one-bedroom residential units. Amenities include central
air conditioning, refrigerators, ranges, furnished units, security cameras,
security staffing, an exercise room and a community room with computers and
Internet access.

The property will also house on-site case management offices and support
services for the residents that include education, job training and employment
assistance. Additional support services will be provided to residents with
special needs who are formerly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“Safe and affordable housing for our workforce, the elderly, and our most
vulnerable individuals and families is crucial to a healthy state economy and
specifically to a diverse, stable workforce,” said Connecticut Commissioner of
Housing Evonne M. Klein. “And when combined with the on-site services that are
integral to Gini’s House, this project promises to provide an example of what
truly supportive housing looks like.”

New Neighborhoods, Inc. (NNI), a Stamford-based nonprofit developer, is
general co-partner and property manager for the project. Liberation Programs,
a Norwalk-based behavioral health organization, is also a general partner and
will be the service provider for the project. Enterprise Builders is the
general contractor.

“Gini’s House will help provide affordable housing and critical support
services for people with some of the greatest needs in our community,” said
Ross Burkhardt, president and CEO of New Neighborhoods Inc. “We are so
grateful for the support from our partners and the community in making this
project a reality.”

“This project is an important part of a larger revitalization effort in
Norwalk designed to create more affordable housing opportunities,” said State
Senator Bob Duff, who also attended the ceremony along with Norwalk Mayor
Richard Moccia and State Representatives Chris Perone and Gail Lavielle. “We
are appreciative to all the partners for their commitment to our community and
willingness to help people have a place they can call home.”

UnitedHealthcare, through a partnership with Enterprise Community Investment,
Inc. (Enterprise) has committed to provide $5.2 million in Low Income Housing
Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity for the project. The investment brings together one
of the nation’s top health and well-being companies and a leader in the
affordable housing and community-development industry to provide innovative
financing solutions for community development projects. UnitedHealthcare,
through its Affordable Housing Investment Program, has provided more than $100
million in financing for community development projects throughout the United
States, $54 million of which is in partnership with Enterprise.

“Gini’s House will create new opportunities, hope and a foundation of support
for the families who will make this their home,” said Jim Bedard, CFO and COO
of UnitedHealthcare’s Northeast Region, which employs more than 4,000 people
in Connecticut. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the many
public and private organizations in developing this affordable-housing project
for the people of Norwalk.”

“Enterprise is proud to partner with UnitedHealthcare to provide critical Low
Income Housing Tax Credit equity that will turn this formerly abandoned
property into Gini’s House,” said Charlie Werhane, president and CEO of
Enterprise Community Investment. “For more than 30 years, Enterprise has been
transforming underserved neighborhoods into thriving communities while
providing low- and moderate-income families access to decent, affordable homes
and the opportunity for success.”

Additional funding partners include the Connecticut Department of Economic and
Community Development (DECD), which is providing a $2 million loan; Liberation
Programs, which is contributing $343,000 in private support; the U.S. Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) through a $49,000 housing grant; and GE Capital,
which is providing funds to purchase all of the appliances for the project.

Alan Mathis, president and CEO of Liberation Programs said, “Today we move a
giant step closer to our dream of creating Gini’s House and honor all those
who have been part of our efforts to expand housing opportunities and provide
valuable resources to help lift families out of poverty. This is an exciting
day and we are so thankful to all who are involved in this project.”

The development is named Gini’s House for Virginia Bantle, wife of Lou Bantle
who passed away two years ago. His investment towards the project included the
purchase of the building at 4 Elmcrest Terrace in Norwalk as well as making a
sizable contribution, which enabled the agency to begin the project
groundwork. Lou Bantle, along with his wife Gini, were the first to receive
Liberation Programs’ Spirit of Hope Award for their extraordinary devotion and
understanding of the disease of addiction and the possibility of recovery. Mr.
Bantle’s staunch support of recovery services inspired the agency to allocate
proceeds from the yearly benefit dinner towards the creation of Gini’s House.

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Contact:

NNI & Liberation Partners
Johnnie Malloy, 203-253-1995
Johnnie.malloy@liberationprograms.org
or
UnitedHealthcare
Ben Goldstein, 240-683-5372
ben_j_goldstein@uhc.com
or
Enterprise Community Partners
Jon Searles, 202-649-3916
jsearles@enterprisecommunity.org
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