“Hospital administrators and affordable housing advocates have one goal in common: Both are committed to helping people lead safe and healthy lives.” The piece highlights a new collaboration in which the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) is partnering with hospitals in the state to build new supportive housing.
“The undertaking, the first of its kind in the Garden State, is based on the logical premise that permanent and stable living arrangements hold the key to better health.”
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study make a very strong case that permanent, affordable housing improves the health outcomes of its tenants. offers dramatic statistics bearing that out.
The report found that “Where people live has a dramatic impact on their well being. Trenton residents, for example, have a life expectancy of 73 years. Less than a dozen miles away, people living in Princeton Junction can expect to celebrate their 87th birthdays – a gap of 14 years.”
“Those experiencing housing instability are likely to be hospitalized more frequently, with longer lengths of stay, and require more care than patients with stable living conditions,” Bennett says.
Individuals experiencing homelessness often cycle between emergency shelters, living on the street, hospital emergency departments, jail and prison and mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.
NJHMFA will provide funding for the new supportive housing, hospitals will provide the matching funds, and the new housing will be developed near the hospitals’ facilities.
Columbus, Ohio; New York and Camden, NJ all provide examples of where hospitals and government are in investing in housing that is affordable that is meeting the needs of residents and also helping to revitalize local neighborhoods surrounding hospitals.
“Hospitals stand to benefit as their property values go up, and their patient base is healthier, observed Donald F. Schwarz, senior vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”