Health-care giant Kaiser Permanente announced that it will invest up to $200 million to help address housing stability, homelessness, and other community needs.
The investment, which will be made through the company’s Thriving Communities Fund, will initially focus on preventing displacement or homelessness of lower- and middle-income households in rapidly changing communities; reducing homelessness by ensuring access to supportive housing; and making affordable homes healthier and more environmentally sound.
The move is further recognition of the significant role that housing plays in health.
“Affordable housing will be a significant focus of Kaiser Permanente’s impact investing portfolio to generate housing stability and improve health outcomes,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “We hope our commitment creates a broader national conversation on homelessness, and encourages other companies to join with us to advance economic, social, and environmental conditions for health.”
Impact investing is a form of investment used to deliver a measurable social benefit. Kaiser Permanente’s impact-investing pledge will deliver national and local social and environmental returns with an initial focus on housing, a significant community health challenge.
By investing in community needs, such as housing, this unique investment strategy is designed to advance Kaiser Permanente’s mission to provide high-quality, affordable health-care services and to improve the health of its 12 million-plus members along with the health of the 65 million-plus residents who live in the communities it serves, said company leaders.
Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health system, also has joined the Mayors and CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, a first-of-its-kind coalition comprised of local government officials and business leaders working to advance key federal housing priorities.
“Many of the communities we serve are grappling with some of the highest rates of housing insecurity and homelessness in the United States. As a family physician, I’ve provided medical care to the homeless and have seen first-hand the impact that living without a home can have on someone’s health. To improve the health of an entire community we must step beyond the four walls of our hospitals and medical offices to help those most in need,” said Dr. Bechara Choucair, Kaiser Permanente’s chief community health officer. “We hope this national commitment to impact investing in housing stability will inspire other companies to share the responsibility of this critical issue growing in the United States.”