Creating New Affordable Housing in Hospital Communities Traditionally Disadvantaged
Monarch Housing’s blog has featured recently stories about hospitals investing in affordable housing both in New Jersey and in communities across the country.
A recent story “Why Hospitals Want to Invest in Affordable Housing,” in the online publication, Curbed, shares an announcement by 14 of the country’s largest hospitals and health systems’ of an investment of $700 million over five years in their communities. Most of this investment will be in affordable housing along with addressing accessing healthier foods, business opportunities for women and minorities and expanded access to childcare. These hospitals and health systems make up the Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN.)
Of note and related to the conversation about the racial disparity within New Jersey’s homeless population, HAN is strategically using the comprehensive and long-term approach to address racial disparities in communities across the United States.
David Zuckerman, director of HAN,
“Also admits that health care systems historically haven’t always been the best partners with disinvested communities, but that has changed in recent years. The launch of this network is the first time there’s been a conversation in the industry about leveraging health care as a significant engine of economic revitalization.”
Disadvantaged communities could be communities of color located near or surrounding hospitals that have been impacted by housing segregation, redlining and gentrification. By providing affordable housing in neighborhoods near hospitals that may also be experiencing gentrification, individuals with low income may now have better access to good paying jobs at the hospitals and healthcare systems.
Supportive housing which may be included in the new affordable housing can help individuals experiencing homelessness with chronic illnesses stabilize their lives. These individuals may also be able to improve now only their health but also the health of the greater community.
The creation of new affordable housing will help local communities by providing stable housing to populations that may have faced systemic racism and/or may be among the frequent users of expensive emergency department systems.