Award Will Enhance Health and Social Programming at Jonathan Rose Companies’ Grace West Community in Newark Aimed at Reducing Hospital Visits

(New York – May 22, 2019)Community Opportunity Fund has been selected as one of five innovative ideas to receive contract awards under Fannie Mae’s Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge: Healthy Affordable Housing. The Challenge is an open competition seeking innovative ideas that aim to bring affordability and stability to underserved areas and help ensure residents have access to healthy, quality affordable, safe places to call home.

“In underserved communities, affordable housing and health outcomes of residents are inextricably linked. Research shows that poor quality housing can have a direct, negative impact on a person’s health,” said Maria Evans, Vice President, Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation, Fannie Mae. “The five ideas we have chosen to pursue have the potential to reimagine housing as a prescription for a healthy life. We look forward to supporting these innovative solutions and to working with all of the contract awardees.”

Community Opportunity Fund will bring the Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors, currently in 15 sites in four states, into Grace West, a Jonathan Rose Companies’ affordable housing site in Newark, NJ, opening up the program beyond seniors to include families for the first time.  Using on-site telehealth equipment, trained technicians will measure vital signs, ask health status questions, and digitally send all results to telehealth nurses who will review results for health alerts then intervene as necessary, enabling seniors to stay in their communities, preventing hospitalization and reducing costs. Social programming, co-produced with residents, will be delivered to support and enhance the telehealth services.

“Community Opportunity Fund, Jonathan Rose Companies and the Westchester Public Private Partnership would like to take this opportunity to thank Fannie Mae for supporting our innovative proposal to bring on-site telehealth services alongside wrap around social programming to the Grace West Community in Newark, New Jersey,” said Dawn Mottram, Executive Director of the Community Opportunity Fund and Director of Strategic Initiatives for Jonathan Rose Companies. “We are excited to launch our initiative, which will use affordable housing as a platform for delivering health and social services to the residents of Grace West, thereby improving health and well-being and generating a culture of health in the community, which will result in better life outcomes for residents.”

The Other Contract Awardees and Their Innovative Ideas are:

  • Virtual Home Visits to Reduce Childhood Asthma: In Washington, DC, the rates of childhood asthma-related hospital visits are 12 times greater in the lowest income areas than in affluent areas. Home visits are time-consuming for already overburdened healthcare providers, and many patients are hesitant to allow health professionals to enter their homes. Children’s National Health System will lead a program that enables residents and their medical providers to use smartphones to conduct virtual home visits that will assess conditions in the home that could trigger asthma-related illnesses and then connect the resident to resources to remediate those conditions. This project will promote resident health and well-being, while creating a healthier home.
  • Trauma-Informed Tiny Homes Community to Prevent Chronic Homelessness: Chronic homelessness is often a result of complex barriers that hinder the homeless from maintaining permanent housing. Montana based HRDC, will build a community of tiny homes. This model will apply principles of trauma-informed design, paired with supportive community services, to help formerly homeless adults feel comfortable and safe in their home and to address the stressors of homelessness and mental illness.
  • Urban Greenhouses to Provide Fresh Produce in Low-Income Communities: Urban agriculture has the potential to reconnect communities through nutritious food, meaningful jobs, and economic development. Vertical Harvest will provide employment for underserved populations by growing food at commercial scale via vertical greenhouses in Chicago. IL. This project will explore and evaluate the integration of vertical farming within affordable housing to help build a scalable model for future housing developments, improve food security and nutrition, and promote holistic community wellness.
  • Integrating Healthcare Sector Investments into Affordable Housing Finance: Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will create an innovative capital funding structure to demonstrate that services that promote health and wellness can be effectively integrated into housing development efforts. The long-term goal is to incentivize hospitals, insurers, and other healthcare partners to invest in affordable housing as a way to improve health outcomes.

To learn more about the five contract awardees and their innovative solutions visit

Fannie Mae launched its third and final phase of The Challenge, seeking solutions at the intersection of affordable housing, education, and economic mobility. The idea submission window for the third phase closes on May 30, 2019 at 5:00 PM Pacific Time.  For more information about The Challenge and to apply, please visit

About Fannie Mae
Fannie Mae helps make the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and affordable rental housing possible for millions of Americans. We partner with lenders to create housing opportunities for families across the country. We are driving positive changes in housing finance to make the home buying process easier, while reducing costs and risk. To learn more, visit and follow us on

About Jonathan Rose Companies
Jonathan Rose Companies is one of the country’s leading developers and investors in sustainable, affordable and mixed-income multifamily real estate, with nearly 15,000 units owned or managed. Founded in 1989, Jonathan Rose Companies is a mission-driven company focused on enhancing the health and wellness of our residents through its Communities of Opportunities programming, while also working to make its properties greener and more energy efficient. With offices in New York, Connecticut, Colorado, California and Ohio, Jonathan Rose Companies has developed or acquired more than $2.5 billion of real estate. For more information, visit

About Community Opportunity Fund
Community Opportunity Fund is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting residents in affordable housing in the United States of America to access a range of health, educational, cultural, social and other services that will enhance the quality, well-being and opportunity in their lives and in their communities, in order to improve their life outcomes.  They measure the results from these programs and use the data to shift public policy and funding towards the creation of communities of opportunity.