Milwaukee development providing permanent housing for homeless military vets and adults

A new Milwaukee development will provide permanent housing for homeless military vets and adults.

The $12.2 million project called SEVEN04 PLACE will include 60 units, 46 of which will be affordable housing for individuals and working families. The other 14 will be set aside for veterans and homeless individuals. Construction began yesterday.

According to Ellen Sexton, CEO for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin, this development goes “well beyond just a housing project.” It will include onsite support services and case management, all with a goal of improving the health and wellness of residents.

Over half of the funding for this project is coming from UnitedHealthcare, which is providing $6.3 million in equity through a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

This project is only the latest for UnitedHealthcare, which has partnered with Cinnaire and Minnesota Equity Fund to invest over $85 million to help build 13 new communities in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Region. Construction has begun on another of these: The Flats at Grandview Commons in Madison.

Sexton says these investments are “a natural extension of what we do.”

UnitedHealthcare provides care for 1.6 million people in Wisconsin, with about 167,000 of those served through UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, the company’s Medicaid division.

“Housing and health care go hand in hand,” Sexton told, noting that most people worried about housing aren’t likely to take care of their own health.

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority has allocated tax credits for 49 units, and is providing $3.2 million in loans and mortgage financing. Impact Seven and Rule Enterprises — the developers for this project — are providing $450,000 in deferred development fees.

The final $2.2 million comes from; the City of Milwaukee; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; IFF and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; and NeighborWorks.

The Milwaukee County Housing Division and Center for Veterans Issues will refer people in need of affordable housing while managing on-site support services and connecting resident veterans to services in the community. That includes programs for health care, drug rehabilitation, job training, education and social services.

“This project is a really good balance of public and private sectors coming together, thinking about how to create new models of housing, community,” Sexton said, adding “we’ve been doing this across the nation in a big way.”

Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has invested over $350 million into 55 new affordable housing communities, she said.

This particular project “will be a model community that will reflect the diverse socioeconomic makeup of the neighborhood,” according to Kristine Giornalista, vice president of real estate development for Impact Seven.

Arc-Int Architecture is the architect for SEVEN04 PLACE, and the construction contractor is Catalyst Construction. The location will feature a community lounge, fitness room, surface parking, indoor parking and storage, and washers and dryers in every unit.

The project is replacing an existing warehouse, and is designed to meet Wisconsin Green Built Home certification standards. It’s expected to open by early 2019.

–By Alex Moe