Gini's House - A Dream Come True

[Photo: (L to R) Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling; Alan Mathis, President & CEO, Liberation Programs; Robin DePaiva and her son Patrick, new residents; Ross Burkhardt, President & CEO of New Neighborhoods Inc.; Governor Malloy; Stephen Farrell, Chief Executive Officer, UnitedHealthcare of New England, and Bob Bantle, son of Lou and Virginia 'Gini' Bantle]
(L to R) Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling; Alan Mathis, President & CEO, Liberation Programs; Robin DePaiva and her son Patrick, new residents; Ross Burkhardt, President & CEO of New Neighborhoods Inc.; Governor Malloy; Stephen Farrell, Chief Executive Officer, UnitedHealthcare of New England, and Bob Bantle, son of Lou and Virginia "Gini" Bantle

On July 29, 2014, community leaders, housing advocates and corporate partners celebrated the grand opening of "Gini's House," a $7.2 million supportive housing development for women and their families.

The newly renovated building in Norwalk contains 1 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom furnished apartments. Gini's House features security, a fitness center and a community room with computers and Internet access, as well as onsite case management and support services for residents such as connections to education, job training and employment assistance.

UnitedHealthcare, through a partnership with Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., invested $5.4 million in Gini's House through the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The investment is part of an initiative by UnitedHealthcare to improve health by building affordable-housing communities with supportive services that help people who need assistance live healthier lives.

"Gini's House will create new opportunities, hope and a foundation of support for women and their families who will make this their home," said Stephen Farrell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New England, a UnitedHealth Group company. "We are grateful to be a partner in such an important project that will help so many women who need a helping hand."

Additional funding partners for Gini's House include the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), which provided a $2 million loan; Liberation Programs, which contributed $343,000 in private support; and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through a $49,000 Supportive Housing program grant. New Neighborhoods, Inc. (NNI), a Fairfield County-based nonprofit developer, and Liberation Programs were the general co-partners. NNI now provides property management services for the development. Each of the apartments features refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers that were provided courtesy of GE Capital.

Gini's House is named for Virginia Bantle, wife of Lou Bantle who passed away three years ago. Lou's investment toward the project included the purchase of the building in Norwalk as well as making a sizable contribution, which laid the project groundwork. Lou and Gini Bantle were the first to receive the Spirit of Hope Award for their extraordinary devotion and understanding of the disease of addiction and the possibility of recovery. Mr. Bantle's staunch support of recovery services inspired the agency to allocate proceeds from the yearly Spirit of Hope benefit dinner towards the creation of Gini's House.

###

Content Archived: January 7, 2016