METLIFE AND METLIFE FOUNDATION JOIN FORCES WITH LISC/NEF ON $40.5 MILLION EFFORT TO DRIVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND SUPPORT SERVICES FOR VETERANS
New York, October 24, 2012
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced that hundreds of military veterans and their families will have access to new affordable housing and social services through a two-year, $40.5 million partnership between MetLife, MetLife Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The announcement was made during a visit to the Valley Brook Village in Lyons, NJ, one of the projects supported by the MetLife commitment. New York Giants Wide Receiver, Domenik Hixon, whose father retired as a Master Sergeant E-7 after 21 years of service in the Army, joined in the official announcement.
MetLife is providing $40 million in equity capital and $500,000 in grant funding through MetLife Foundation to LISC and its affiliate, National Equity Fund (NEF), to fuel development of supportive housing and related facilities focused on the unique needs of veterans. Military veterans comprise more than 20 percent of the national homeless population. The support will also promote better alignment between state and national veterans housing programs through changes to the system to streamline future development.
“MetLife is proud to partner with LISC and the National Equity Fund on this invaluable project. Working together to provide housing and support services that help build a more secure future for our veterans is a great honor,” said Steve Goulart, executive vice president and chief investment officer at MetLife. “It is also a wonderful way to recognize the service of our military veterans and express our deeply felt gratitude.”
This new partnership builds on long-standing relationships between LISC/NEF, MetLife and MetLife Foundation, which includes $100 million in grants, loans and equity investments to make distressed communities safer, develop high-quality affordable housing for families and seniors, and promote a better quality of life for low income residents. It is part of a broader LISC/NEF veteran’s initiative that began in 2007, with a focus on helping facilitate and fund affordable housing for veterans.
“MetLife and MetLife Foundation are helping us bring this program to scale in ways that will give more at-risk veterans the chance to live safe, healthy, productive lives,” noted Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO. “And, by supporting work that breaks down barriers to effective development, MetLife will have an impact that far exceeds the dollars they invest,” he said.
Veterans in and around Lyons, N.J. will be among the earliest beneficiaries of the partnership. One of the projects includes an $8.4 million investment from MetLife to help finance the development of Valley Brook Village, which is set to break ground on the Lyons VA Medical Campus. Private developers Peabody Properties and Windover Construction are overseeing the project, with local nonprofit Community Hope set to provide on-site services to the residents. The project is one of the nation’s first veterans housing developments constructed on federal surplus land. When completed next year, the 62-unit development will provide housing that is affordable to veterans along with supportive services that will help them regain their health, find jobs and stabilize their lives. Additional projects currently in development will be located in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
“The reason we continue to have staggering numbers of homeless veterans is not because there aren’t proven models to help them,” said Debbie Burkart, who leads the LISC/NEF homeless veterans work. “We know permanent supportive housing works,” she said, pointing to LISC/NEF’s $1.5 billion in supportive housing investments. “Our challenge is to help coordinate statutes and regulations so we can develop more of these projects and to assemble the private resources we need to have a significant impact. MetLife’s commitment goes a long way toward moving both of those efforts forward.”
MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation's commitment to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide is reflected in its dedication to empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $530 million in grants and $70 million in Program-Related Investments to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information visit www.metlife.org
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised $12 billion to build or rehab 289,000 affordable homes and develop 46 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $40 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.
National Equity Fund, Inc. (NEF) is a nonprofit Chicago-based affiliate of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the nation’s largest syndicator of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Since 1987, NEF has invested $9.5 billion in more than 2,100 LIHTC projects that have built and preserved 127,000 homes affordable to low-income families and individuals. For more information, visit www.nefinc.org