Healthy Futures Fund to Connect Health and Housing Practitioners
Posted by Miriam Axel-Lute on February 4, 2013
Building affordable housing with integrated health services. Federally qualified health centers in low-income neighborhoods.
These are the goals of the Health Futures Fund, a new $100 million investment fund launched a couple weeks ago by Morgan Stanley, The Kresge Foundation, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
Building on the increasing recognition of the links between health and place, which we wrote about in our issue Are Our Neighborhoods Making Us Sick?, the Healthy Futures Fund wants to make the relationship between the solutions more concrete as well. Along with the benefits of financing projects that themeselves address the intersections, the Health Futures Fund founders hope it will build relationships between practitioners who are too often working in parallel:
It is designed to spur collaboration among health care providers and housing developers who do not often work together even when they operate in the same low-income neighborhoods and serve the same people. “Connections between health and housing for low-income people need to be intentional. We can’t rely on serendipity to make this happen,” says Michael Rubinger, president and CEO of LISC.
This isn't the first foray of community development financing into the health care arena. We wrote last year about Enterprise Community Partners and Citi Community Capital's work financing health centers. That work made use of stimulus funds, and it was unclear how it would be able to move forward after those funds ran out. So it's exciting to see a new venture being launched that continues in the same vein.
(Image of Whittier Street Health Center, courtesy of Enterprise Community Investment.)
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Miriam Axel-Lute is editor of Shelterforce and associate director of the National Housing Institute. Her email is miriam at nhi dot org.