Community partners led by Nationwide Children’s Hospital announce the $4 million Linden Healthy Homes Fund
(COLUMBUS, OH – June 24, 2021) Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families initiative, in partnership with Ohio Capital Finance Corporation, the City of Columbus, the Center for Community Investment, CareSource and Partners For Kids, today announces the creation of the Linden Healthy Homes Fund, a $4.2 million effort to build and rehabilitate affordable, high-quality rental housing for the people of South Linden.
The fund furthers the goals of the 614 For Linden collaborative, which launched in 2019 to have a positive impact on housing, business development, health care access and other challenges facing the neighborhood. Nationwide Children’s is a founding member of the collaborative, and the Linden Healthy Homes Fund brings in new investments and new partners to benefit Linden.
The fund will focus on building 17 new affordable rental housing units and rehabilitating three others. All units will be located near the Linden Fresh Market located on Cleveland Avenue in South Linden that will open this summer. Rents will range from $725 for a 2-bedroom to $850 for a 3-bedroom home. Healthy Homes, the affordable housing arm of Nationwide Children’s Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families, will manage the new housing effort.
“We know that health is about so much more than health care, and high-quality, affordable housing is crucial for the wellbeing of children and their families,” says Tim Robinson, CEO of Nationwide Children’s. “Nationwide Children’s has long worked through our Linden Primary Care Center, our Mobile Care Center and school-based health clinics at Linden-McKinley High School and KIPP Columbus to improve child health. The Linden Healthy Homes Fund deepens our commitment to Linden and will make a meaningful difference for its residents.”
The housing units will sit on lots that were provided through a partnership with the City of Columbus Land Bank.
“The Land Bank’s goal is to return homes and properties to their best use, and that’s especially important in Linden, where people have such pride in their community,” said Andrew J. Ginther, Mayor of Columbus. “The Linden Healthy Homes Fund allows the City of Columbus and all of our partners to continue our drive to revitalize this historic neighborhood.”
The Linden Healthy Homes Fund represents a number of firsts for central Ohio and the fund’s investors:
- CareSource. In August 2020, CareSource, the Ohio-based multistate nonprofit managed care plan, announced it was committing $50 million to affordable housing across the United States, with a focus on underserved populations. CareSource has chosen the Linden Healthy Homes Fund as the first beneficiary of that commitment, through low interest loans and grant money.
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Since its Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families initiative began in 2008, the hospital has helped improve more than 375 homes and served as an organizer and financial guarantor for many community improvement projects. The Linden Healthy Homes Fund will be its first direct “impact investment” to construct or rehab housing.
- Partners For Kids. Created by Nationwide Children’s and now the United States’ largest pediatric accountable care organization, Partners For Kids helps more than 400,000 children receive the health care they need in south central, southeastern and west central Ohio. The Linden Healthy Homes Fund is the organization’s first direct “impact investment” for neighborhood improvement.
- The Center for Community Investment (CCI). CCI works to ensure that all communities, especially those that have suffered from structural racism and policies that have left them economically and socially isolated, can unlock the capital they need to thrive. Nationwide Children is a participant in CCI’s Accelerating Investments for Healthy Communities initiative, which is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Through this program, the Linden Healthy Home Fund is receiving a low interest loan and a grant, the first project in the Midwest to do so.
- Ohio Capital Finance Corporation (OCFC). OCFC has worked for years with Nationwide Children’s and many other partners to improve Ohio neighborhoods. The Linden Healthy Homes Fund represents the first fund created with private dollars from mission-driven nonprofit organizations in Ohio to increase the supply of affordable housing. OCFC was instrumental in the development of the capital strategies for the fund, is providing funding and serves as the fund manager.
In addition, funds from the JP Morgan Chase PRO Neighborhoods initiative, awarded in 2019 to The 614 For Linden, are making the Linden Healthy Homes Fund possible
“At CareSource, we know that housing impacts a person’s overall health and wellbeing, as well as access to food, safety, employment opportunities and transportation,” said Steve Ringel, CareSource Ohio Market President. “We are excited to invest in the Linden Healthy Homes Fund because it is part of a greater movement to not only increase the amount of affordable, quality housing options in Columbus but also to surround neighborhood residents with support for the full-spectrum of social determinants of health.”
“Along with helping to meet housing needs in Linden, the Linden Healthy Homes Fund is advancing local community investment efforts,” said Robin Hacke, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Community Investment. “By bringing new investors to the community and creating an important new source of long-term capital, the Fund will leverage future investment in the neighborhood to achieve community priorities. Meanwhile, the commitment of these investors will enable housing to be built in complex economic times, when it is most needed.”
Construction on the first units began in May with lease-up expected in early fall.
Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families began on Columbus’ South Side, the area around Nationwide Children’s, and has proven it can improve community, family and individual wellbeing. The initiative has now expanded to the Linden area where it will supplement and expand upon the bold vision of the One Linden plan, developed by community leaders, thanks to the support of the Nationwide Innovation Fund. The HNHF initiative targets five impact areas: affordable housing, education, health and wellness, community enrichment and economic development. For more information, visit nationwidechildrens.org/HNHF.