Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NCB Capital Impact Announce $10 Million Loan-Fund to Expand Innovative Skilled-Nursing Care to Low-Income Seniors

    • September 8, 2011

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NCB Capital Impact announced a 10-year, $10 million low-interest credit facility to finance the building of Green House® homes, community-based care that offers a high-quality alternative to traditional institutional skilled nursing facilities. The investment marks the first transaction in the Foundation’s new $100 million “impact capital” commitment designed to help the Foundation and its grantees leverage funding from multiple sources and spread solutions that improve health and health care for all Americans.

“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,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “This commitment allows us to better leverage our funding and spread innovative models, like the Green House Project.”

With $9 billion in assets, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest private foundation focused exclusively on health and health care. The Foundation established its three-year (2011 – 2013) impact capital fund, to leverage funding and nonfinancial resources from other foundations, government and nontraditional funding partners, including private capital from individual and institutional investors. The Foundation expects to announce additional investments under the impact capital initiative over the next three years.

While there is strong interest in using program-related investments to address areas like economic development, education, housing and the environment, there has been little activity to date in the areas of health and health care. With an investment of this size, the Foundation is sending a market signal that health is the new frontier for impact investing.

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.”

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For nearly 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.

About NCB Capital Impact

NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a national, non-profit community development finance institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality health care, healthy foods, housing, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.6 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities.