CCI announced today the launch of AIHC, which will help health institutions and their community partners to deploy their assets – financial resources, land, and expertise – to advance affordable housing as a way to create more equitable, sustainable and healthy communities.
AIHC is designed to help participating hospitals and health systems deepen their investment in affordable housing, and advance policies and practices that foster equitable housing solutions. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, health care leaders and institutions at the leading edge of community investment will build on their existing momentum and planning accomplished last year, and take the next steps to partner with others in their communities to protect and increase the supply of affordable homes. Affordable homes are critical to ensuring good health and social and economic stability in a community.
The AIHC health systems and hospitals, and their focus regions are:
• Bon Secours Mercy Health System (Baltimore, MD, and Cincinnati, OH)
• Boston Medical Center (Boston, MA)
• Dignity Health (San Bernardino, CA)
• Kaiser Permanente (Purple Line Corridor, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, MD)
• Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, OH)
• UPMC (Pittsburgh, PA)
“Hospitals and health systems can play an important role in creating robust community investment systems that reduce health inequities and help people thrive,” explains Robin Hacke, executive director of CCI. “This initiative paves the way for hospitals to collaborate with new partners to unlock capital and address shortages of affordable homes in their regions. We’re excited to see what these leading health care systems and hospitals will accomplish next.”
Already, several health institutions participating in AIHC have dramatically expanded their commitment to affordable housing. Kaiser Permanente recently pledged $200 million to invest in housing across the country; Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced the creation of a $20 million fund to finance 170 multi-family rental units on the South Side of Columbus; and Dignity Health in San Bernardino worked with community partners and the State of California to leverage more than $20 million dollars for a housing project that is expected to create hundreds of units of affordable and market-rate housing. Currently, Dignity Health has approved nearly $100 million in community development loans, forty-five percent of which is for affordable housing. Additionally, UPMC and UPMC Health Plan have invested millions of dollars in a number of initiatives over the past three years to spur the creation of affordable housing options for people in low- to moderate-income households, including the use of a number of financing options that support the expansion of Community Land Trusts in Pittsburgh to help promote permanent, affordable homeownership opportunities.
Participants in AIHC will include not only health system executives and staff, but also representatives from local government, affordable housing developers, foundations, community groups, and community development financial institutions.
Over the next two years, participants will develop and begin to execute a pipeline of affordable housing projects and work with partners to advance long-term community investment in affordable housing. They will also receive coaching and technical support; opportunities to learn with other communities doing similar work; and access to resources to advance their development strategies and leverage their investments.
“Hospitals and health systems are uniquely positioned in their communities to influence health far beyond their four walls,” said Don Schwarz, MD, MBA, senior vice president of Program at RWJF. “We’re excited to see these leading-edge hospitals and their partners work to improve health by expanding affordable housing and creating new investment pipelines that will light the path for other health institutions to follow suit.”