In the United States, for every 100 extremely low-income people searching for affordable housing, there are only 36 affordable units available. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the number of families who are housing-insecure. An April 2020 study by Washington University in St. Louis suggests individuals are now facing increased housing hardship such as evictions, delayed rent or mortgage payments, and unexpected utility payments and home repairs.
The link between good housing and good health is undeniable. On the surface, it’s apparent that better housing conditions can help combat a range of health issues from respiratory infections and lead poisoning to injuries. But, on a deeper level, better housing also provides families in low-income households the opportunity to improve and succeed academically and have a better chance to achieve financial success later in life. At CareSource, we believe that investing in better housing now helps reduce health care costs to society in the long term.
In August 2020, CareSource reaffirmed our commitment to housing stability by announcing a $50 million investment to housing projects across the United States, focusing on underserved communities with high rates of poverty. The $50 million will be spread among our current markets in Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky and West Virginia as well as new markets as we grow our footprint.
Our announcement followed years of affordable housing support through CareSource Foundation grants. Earlier in 2020, we announced our role as an investor in the $100 million housing action fund administered by the Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County, which provides below-market financing for affordable housing development.
Meanwhile, we have worked throughout the pandemic with homeless shelters, providing hygiene kits to help slow the spread of COVID-19, while partnering with safe recovery sites where homeless individuals could safely isolate and quarantine.
These investments of capital and human resources into safe and affordable housing further solidify our commitment to not just create better health care for our members, but better lives.
– Amy Riegel, CareSource Senior Director, Housing