Ohio Capital Finance Corporation and the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation to distribute the funds.
(DAYTON, OH – February 24, 2021) – CareSource, a nonprofit multi-state managed care plan, announced today the creation of a $5 million affordable housing investment fund, the CareSource Fund for Appalachia with the Ohio Capital Finance Corporation (OCFC). Additionally, CareSource is donating $1 million to the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation (OCIC) to promote digital equity in southeast Ohio’s Appalachian counties. Both OCFC and OCIC are affiliates of Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, a nonprofit financial intermediary based in Columbus, Ohio.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified issues presented by the digital divide,” said Steve Ringel, CareSource Ohio Market President. “Collaborating with Ohio Capital Finance Corporation and the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation will assist in improving the lives of residents of affordable housing and facilitate internet access to promote utilization of telehealth services and much more.”
Ohio’s Appalachian region comprises over a third of the state’s counties and is home to almost 20 percent of the state’s population. A recent Ohio University study revealed digital inequality in Appalachian southeast Ohio is particularly apparent, and troubling when it comes to vital internet uses that most impact quality of life.
Through CareSource Fund for Appalachia, the Ohio Capital Finance Corporation will leverage resources to assist Ohio’s Appalachian residents with access to the internet with goals of improving health and education outcomes. By providing low-cost bridge financing, the fund will generate additional equity and cost savings to support real estate improvements.
“The digital divide gap is narrowing thanks to CareSource and its amazing commitment,” said Jon Welty, President of Ohio Capital Finance Corporation, a nonprofit organization. “Through the creation of this innovative partnership and creative financing structure, significant barriers will be broken for households in Appalachia.”
Additionally, the $1 million donation will be used to improve Appalachia residents’ access to digital resources, including the installation of building-wide internet service, individual unit Wi-Fi hotspots, dedicated space for telehealth services and other supportive opportunities.