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In Hospitals, Affordable Housing Gets the Long-Term Investor It Needs

Originally published in The New York Times.

Hospitals can also use another key resource: their own land and property. Boston Medical Center and Trinity Health both have plans to build affordable housing complexes on their own properties.

John Vu, Kaiser’s vice president of strategy for community health, said this was the first phase of fixing the housing problem. The next stage, he said, will use the data collected at the developments to determine how future partnerships can better address communities’ health and housing needs.

Numerous studies by pediatric researchers and groups like Children’s Health Watch have shown how housing support can help homeless people and families who have members with a chronic disease or disability, or who need health services more than usual.

And Kaiser has been teaming up with Enterprise for the Housing for Health initiative, which connects developers with public health groups to evaluate how housing determines health across 30 factors.

Stephany De Scisciolo, a vice president at Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit developer that has worked with Kaiser on some of its housing investments, said the program had been collecting data for four years.

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