This week, CareSource announced $2.5M investment in affordable housing with the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP). The investment is part of the $50M investments CareSource has committed to make across the country and follows years of affordable housing support through CareSource Foundation grants.
“Nonprofit organizations like CareSource don’t usually manage their investments this way but it makes good financial sense for us,” said Larry Smart, chief financial officer at CareSource. “This strategy means we are diversifying existing investment dollars while also putting them to work supporting our members overcome barriers and live their healthiest lives.”
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is a shortage of rental homes in that are affordable and available to extremely low-income households in Georgia. These households’ incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income. Many of these households are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. They report that severely cost-burdened households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and health care to pay the rent.
“We are indeed facing a critical shortage of affordable housing in the metro Atlanta region, and I remain committed to finding solutions to solve that problem and working with partners, whether they are state partners, federal partners, local partners or nonprofits and agencies like CareSource and ANDP to move Atlanta forward,” said Mayor Andre Dickens.
The City of Atlanta reports that between 2000 and 2017, Atlanta’s median rent increased by over 70%, but Atlanta’s median income only increased by 48%.The pandemic has only exacerbated the crisis with lost jobs and missed paychecks. Additionally, the availability of affordable housing has greatly diminished as the population has increased as the population has risen by about 85,000 new residents a year since 2010. The Atlanta Regional Commission projects that the metro Atlanta region will grow by 2.9 million, skyrocketing to a metro population near 9 million by 2050.
“The lack of affordable housing opportunities in Atlanta is an issue that leaders in health care must address,” said Jason Bearden, market president for CareSource Georgia. “Housing stability, safety and affordability directly affect health outcomes. When families struggle with the high cost of rent, they are forced to make decisions between transportation, food, routine doctor’s visits and other necessities. Overall care often takes a backseat and the stress of an unsafe or unpredictable situation takes a toll on both mental and physical health.”
The $2.5 million investment in Atlanta supports ANDP’s acquisition and rehabilitation of 75 single-family homes that will provide affordable rentals across the Metro Atlanta region. ANDP is a nonprofit organization that develops, finances and advocates for affordable housing and aims to reduce the Black homeownership gap and increase access to affordable rental properties. With the help of CareSource investments, ANDP’s single-family rental portfolio has grown from 20 to nearly 200 homes in 2022, expanding affordable housing opportunities and meeting the needs of more low-income families in the Metro-Atlanta area.
“Partnerships with organizations like CareSource helps us further our mission to offer safe and affordable homes across the Metro Atlanta region,” said Ashani O’Mard, ANDP senior vice president for strategic housing investments. “CareSource’s $2.5 million investment will provide 75 families or individuals with reliable, safe and affordable places to call home.”
CareSource expects to announce additional housing investments within the next year.