The first is the Blackburn Building, being developed by Central City Concern in Portland, a collocation of affordable and supportive housing, with respite care and an onsite health clinic servicing the campus and the entire community. The innovative project design was developed as part of the “Housing is Health” alliance attracting over $21.5MM in direct investment from healthcare organizations including Kaiser and CSH. The second is Paseo Verde, a mixed-use development in Philadelphia which includes units dedicated to households earning between 20-60% of the local income range and some dedicated to supportive housing. The project also provided comprehensive health and social services for seniors both in the building and the community at large. It was co-developed by Association Puertoriquenos en Marcha and Jonathan Rose Companies, represented on the panel by company founder Jonathan Rose . Rose takes the idea of community infrastructure development to a higher level. For example, his new affordable housing has onsite health exam rooms, and partners with a local healthcare agency to set up telemedicine appointments and other cost-saving methodologies. Rose properties also include partnerships with local food banks to supplement residents’ groceries. Also high on his list is the ability to reduce toxins and create greener environments. Rose pointed to studies that show that if the property can save residents $30, $50 or $80 per month in utility bills for a family that’s earning $15,000 to $30,000 a year, that’s a huge benefit. Reimagining Housing Finance Affordable housing is at the edge of what could be the largest shift in housing and service finance since the advent of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit in 1986. A real reboot can capitalize on exciting trends. According to panelist Jason Helgerson, “Fee for Service is out, Value Based Payment is in.” This shift can be seen from capitated rates to penalties for readmission to care. It makes healthcare responsible not just for providing services, but for achieving longer- term health benchmarks. And it moves housing from a side conversation as a social determinant to a critical ingredient for success. Affordable housing is not immune to this effect, and is increasingly being asked to demonstrate tangible outcomes for tenants and communities. Pay for Success (PFS) contracts and financing for housing are clear examples of where private capital is put to use to drive demonstrable public savings and social returns. CSH helped design the nation’s first PFS project using supportive housing to address chronic homelessness in Massachusetts. NHPF is also one of the investors in the $2.5MM private capital raised for this initiative, which in turn leveraged $23 MM in local, state, and federal resources. At three years in, the project has housed over 700 people and is exceeding all project benchmarks and just authorized the second success payment to investors. Also, Opportunity Zones are quickly developing what is expected to be a trillion-dollar market and have been designated for the next ten years by states with low income communities demonstrating high needs and potential for economic development. PFS and Opportunity Zones present ways that affordable housing can engage new partners. Not just healthcare and public partners, but also private sector players, corporate partners and high-net investments.
Affordable housing is at the edge of what could be the largest shift in housing and service finance since the advent of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit in 1986.
An Affordable Housing Reboot Will Improve Community Health
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