How Access to Affordable Housing Can Improve Health

February 27th, 2020 | 2 min read

Mother smiling with happy child

You may think of health as visiting the doctor, eating right, and exercising. While these are all important aspects of health, a new framework has emerged in the health care industry to present a more holistic view. Called social determinants of health (SDOH), these indicators refer to economic and social conditions that affect health outcomes. Housing, educational attainment, employment and the environment are all factors in health inequities. Amy Riegel, Director of Housing at CareSource, says access to housing that is safe and affordable can improve the health of an individual and a community in both clear and less obvious ways.

“Accessible entries and floor plans can make life safer for people with physical disabilities by reducing the risk of falls or injuries, but even housing factors like overcrowding or maintenance issues can negatively affect health,” says Riegel. “Stable housing increases the likelihood that that person will be able to get routine and preventative care.”

CareSource takes the impact affordable housing has on all facets of health, both on person and community level, seriously. Developing strategic partnerships continues their practice of investing in innovative solutions for positive health outcomes.

CareSource’s Strategic Investments in Affordable Housing

Housing efforts are not new to CareSource. Over the last several years, the organization has played a key role in supporting several projects across Ohio including:

  • Healthy Beginnings at Home pilot in Columbus, Ohio
  • The Community Transitions Program throughout Ohio
  • The Disaster Recovery Program in Dayton, Ohio

Two new projects indicate a shift in how the organization supports affordable housing efforts.

In December 2019, CareSource announced an investment that leverages their membership to the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Cincinnati to advance affordable housing projects in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.  On November 21, 2019, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati approved $30.9M in Affordable Housing Program (AHP) subsidy to help produce 2,229 units of affordable housing.

Read the announcement.

CareSource has also invested in the Franklin County Housing Action Fund announced in January 2020. This formed a revolving fund to offer below marketing loans for developers to build and preserve affordable and mixed-income rental housing.

Do you have a question about CareSource? Read our Frequently Asked Questions.