The Square
News and perspectives from Covia.

On July 2, Covia Group and the Ziegler Link•age Funds announced their joint investment in Minka homes and communities. The investment will support the development of a ground-breaking model for middle-market senior housing that merges best-practices in universal and sustainable design with leading-edge smart-home technology to create affordable homes and communities that help people live their best lives, regardless of age or ability.

Covia is a primary investor in the Minka homes project. Minkas are digitally native, human-centered smart homes designed to deliver wellness and strengthen community. Minka homes and communities are purpose-built to address the intergenerational need for cost efficient housing that helps people thrive. 

The Ziegler Link•age Funds seek to invest in companies who are improving aging and post-acute services in the United States and around the world, including Minka homes. The Funds are controlled by a joint venture between Ziegler and Link•age with investors including many of the most innovative and progressive senior living providers, healthcare systems and strategic service providers in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Co-Founded by geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas, creator of the Eden Alternative and The Green House Project, Minka homes and communities leverage insights into the structure and function of personal independence for older people with innovations in architecture, technology, product design and community development. “Given the impact of COVID-19 on older adults across our country, the need to build affordable homes and communities that foster resilience has never been more urgent,” says CEO Ana Pinto da Silva. “We can map a new path forward with beautifully designed, digitally connected, compact housing that centers wellness and human connection.”

The first Minka homes will be built on Covia’s Spring Lake Village community campus in Santa Rosa. Covia anticipates construction to take place in early 2021. “We are starting out with a flagship Minka Home Demonstration Project,” says Mary McMullin, Covia’s Chief Strategy and Advancement Officer. “This approach allows us to learn together, developing a proof of concept that helps us refine our understanding of cost, scalability, and performance in line with Covia’s core mission to provide outstanding options for people wherever they choose to call home.”

Covia and the Ziegler Link•age Funds hope that this project will provide a solution for senior living that scales to meet the needs of the middle market, helping organizations across the country build communities that support older adults in a way that is responsive to changing needs. “We need to think about bricks and mortar differently,” says Scott Collins, CEO of Link•age, and Manager of the Ziegler Link•age Funds. “We are challenging ourselves to think beyond traditional senior living to find solutions that re-define the market and can scale to meet the demand for affordable, middle-market communities nationwide.”

“We don’t just want shelter. We want community,” says McMullin. “Minka’s approach was the first one that spoke to us. Their design approach allows people to live the way they want to live. I’m truly excited by it.”