Robert Jenkins
Robert Jenkins

How can we help much-needed affordable long-term care models reach scale as demand spikes and traditional subsidy programs struggle to keep pace? While there are many correct answers to this question, greater access to affordable lending specifically designed to support expansion and innovation is one of the top answers.   

To help answer this need, LeadingAge, Grantmakers in Aging (GIA), and National Cooperative Bank (NCB) have partnered to launch LeverAge, an $85 million lending program targeted to the financing needs of not-for-profits serving low-income older people. LeverAge can be used to reposition, expand, or add to aging services, housing, and long-term care programs serving at least 40% of the participants at 80% or less of area median income. 

LeverAge combines long-term care underwriting expertise and flexible commercial lending with interest rate discounts (50 to 150 basis points), longer amortization periods and up to 10-year terms. This hard to find combination is specifically designed to assist providers implement the latest long-term care models and fill lending gaps in the wake of federal and state program cuts. 

“LeverAge will play an important role in helping not-for-profit aging services providers finance the renovations, construction projects, and new services that will be required to satisfy consumers and the demands of health care reform,” said Larry Minnix, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “Having a national program specifically designed to work with Medicaid, Medicare, and innovations will allow rapid expansion of best practice models.”

LeverAge can assist with most of the financing needs long-term care providers experience as they work to position themselves for the future. LeverAge may be used to finance or refinance affordable housing, including independent senior housing, assisted living, and nursing homes.  LeverAge can also be used to finance the creation or expansion of aging services such as PACE, adult day services, home care, and other models.  

New models of housing or services are also eligible. These rapidly evolving best practices are often outside the parameters of traditional financing programs and may benefit from LeverAge’s credit support feature — designed to help new models access financing at an earlier stage, reducing their reliance on charitable support.   

“With a shortage of 1.8 million affordable senior housing units and large increases in the demand for long-term services projected for 2020, NCB is glad to be part of an effort to provide a solution,” says Chuck Snyder, CEO of NCB.  “LeverAge’s affordable rates, longer terms, and flexible structure offer a new tool and approach to address this growing crisis.”

LeverAge’s longer terms and lower rates are made possible by a combination of social investors’ mission deposits in NCB’s AdvantAge deposit program and NCB fee discounts.  To maximize the programs size, NCB will provide a dollar for dollar match for standard AdvantAge deposits.

Robert Jenkins is the Director of Social Impact Initiatives/SVP at NCB. If your organization would like to support the LeverAge finance program with a deposit or is interested in discussing financing, please contact him at [email protected] or 703-302-1950. Any organization whose deposit is received by the end of 2014 will qualify as a founding depositor. Founding depositors will be recognized in LeverAge program materials.