Capital Link recently completed a free Healthy Futures Fund (HFF) Readiness Program, sponsored by LISC and Kresge, for a limited number of health centers interested in obtaining financing through HFF. Available to select health centers through a competitive application process, the program offered technical assistance as described below; those that successfully completed the technical assistance program were eligible for planning grant funding to advance their capital project planning.
Description of the HFF Readiness Program:
The HFF Readiness Program had two primary components:
Group Learning: Through a series of three webinars, selected health centers learned the basics of NMTC Financing (and financing through HFF in particular) and what it takes to be ready to successfully obtain financing from this highly attractive funding mechanism. Participants also benefitted from the insights of other health center leaders who have taken on “gazelle projects” to address the social determinants of health in their communities—and who obtained NMTC financing to advance these projects. LISC experts co-presented at each webinar.
Individualized Advisory Services: Following the webinars, the selected health centers received individualized assistance from Capital Link. The purpose of this assistance was to help the participating health centers understand whether or not the HFF financing structure would be advantageous for their needs, and if so, to develop a specific work plan to achieve readiness for financing. The individualized assistance included conducting a Performance Evaluation Profile (PEP) for each center, which provided comparative financial and operational metrics to identify areas of needed operational or financial improvement to be addressed through the planning grant phase. The product of this work was used to apply to LISC for grant funding to support project planning.
Upon completion of the HFF Readiness Program, health centers were eligible to apply for planning grants to support pre-development and technical assistance project activities. LISC, a non-profit that works with a network of community-based partners to make investments in housing, businesses, jobs, education, safety and health, provided the planning grants in addition to co-sponsoring the HFF Readiness Program.
The Healthy Futures Fund (HFF)is a $200 million initiative formed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Morgan Stanley and The Kresge Foundation. Initially formed in 2012 with $100 million in resources that have been fully deployed, the Fund partners came together in late 2015 to announce the immediate availability of another $100 million in capital. The Healthy Futures Fund seeks to improve community health by expanding healthcare access through a co-location model for health centers and affordable housing projects.
For Federally Qualified Health Centers and Look-Alikes who are expanding their facilities and services, the Fund offers New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) and loan capital in one streamlined execution with very low transaction costs. The ideal health center project is co-located with a provider of non-clinical services that impact one or more social determinant of health. Examples of such services include but are not limited to: affordable housing, healthy food outlets and grocery stores, education or job training, fitness and wellness services. A description of the Healthy Futures Fund with examples of projects that exemplify the model is available here.