Today, Kaiser Permanente announced a $200M impact investing commitment to address housing stability and homelessness. This contribution through their Thriving Communities Fund is a significant commitment to community investment by a health system, and aligns with their mission to improve both the health of their members and the residents who live in the communities they serve.
The initial focus of the investment will be “preventing displacement or homelessness of lower- and middle-income households in rapidly changing communities; reducing homelessness by ensuring access to supportive housing; and making affordable homes healthier and more environmentally sound.”
Over the past five months, a small group of national and regional staff at Kaiser have been participating in our Accelerating Investments for Healthy Communities (AIHC) program, working with other leading edge hospitals and health systems across the country to refine their affordable housing strategies; engage internal and external partners as developers and co-investors; and measure the impact of their investments. Lessons from AIHC.
As the largest managed care organization in the country and a highly visible brand in some of the highest-cost housing markets across the U.S., Kaiser’s new investment commitment has practical and symbolic value. In addition to providing valuable capital, Kaiser explicitly acknowledges the opportunity they have to message to other hospitals and health systems that they have a role to play in improving community health that goes beyond grants and community benefit dollars.
Want to learn more? Check out Improving Community Health by Strengthening Community Investment: Roles for Hospitals and Health Systems.