Our work with the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Denver on transit-oriented development is featured in the April 2017 issue of Land Lines, click here to read more!
Research has demonstrated that where people live, work, and play affects their life expectancy, stress levels, and incidence of chronic diseases. Yet in disadvantaged communities, structural racism and conventional market activity have created barriers and perceived risks that impede the very flow of capital that could transform these environments into places of opportunity.
Hospitals and health systems have a variety of assets—such as financial resources, land, and expertise—that would make them valuable participants in the community investment system that helps direct capital to these underserved communities.
Our new report, Improving Community Health by Strengthening Community Investment: Roles for Hospitals and Health Institutions, found that those institutions that have undertaken community investment are convinced that their early efforts have important strategic value and are very much worth doing.
We found that health institutions utilized a wide variety of strategies to invest in improving social determinants of health in their communities. They used a range of resources, selected a variety of types of investment vehicles, targeted diverse interventions, and partnered with a range of other organizations, from community groups and nonprofits to other anchors, foundations, and local government.
By looking systematically at the early examples of hospitals that are making community investments, we hope to ease the way for other institutions to tread this path, ultimately to arrive at healthier communities.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (March 9, 2017) – The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has established the Center for Community Investment, a leadership development, research and capacity building initiative to help communities mobilize capital to achieve their economic, social and environmental priorities.
Robin Hacke will direct the new center, building on work she incubated over the past three years as a senior fellow with The Kresge Foundation. “The center will take on challenges that have long frustrated efforts to effectively fund work in underserved places,” Hacke said. “Too often, communities and social investors must work around existing financial systems. We want to reboot community investment to deliver capital where communities have identified the most urgent needs, at a scale large enough to make a difference.”
Hacke brings more than two decades of investment experience to the job, having served as director of capital innovation for Living Cities, as a venture capitalist and strategy consultant in the technology industry and as a public finance banker.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., the Center for Community Investment will work in partnership with the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard Kennedy School. The Kresge Foundation will serve as lead funder and continue to provide support.
The center will build on the success of pilot initiatives in regions such as Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Denver, where Hacke and her colleagues supported diverse groups of stakeholders from the public, private and civic sectors. In the Bay Area, Hacke and her team worked with members of the Great Communities Collaborative, including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the metropolitan planning organization and affordable housing developers and advocates to launch planning for thousands of units of affordable housing on publicly owned land. By helping leaders ask tough questions and identify opportunities to open bottlenecks, the work increased the pace and scale of development.