Today nearly 15 million Americans lack access to stable housing. And many other low-income families find that the only housing they can afford is often in unsafe or overpopulated neighborhoods with a lack of amenities like safe parks, playgrounds, healthy food sources and more.
When individuals and families struggle to pay for housing, they often neglect other important factors needed for good health, including proper nutrition, an active lifestyle and seeing the doctor.
Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has been committed to working with leading affordable-housing advocates to help remove this social determinant to health. The company recently surpassed $400 million in investments in affordable housing all across the United States, including in 80 affordable housing communities with more than 4,500 new homes for those in need.
“Access to safe and affordable housing is one of the greatest obstacles to better health, making it a social determinant that affects people’s well-being and quality of life,” said Steve Nelson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare. “UnitedHealthcare partners with other socially minded organizations that understand the value of good health, and how public-private partnerships like these can succeed in helping make a positive impact in our communities.”
A forward-thinking element of UnitedHealth’s vison and commitment includes creating housing communities that go beyond an affordable place to live. Many innovative complexes include on-site amenities such as clinical health care services, social and support counseling, job training, academic support, childcare, computer labs and playgrounds.
Partners include both national and regional affordable housing organizations such as Enterprise Community Investment, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, US Bank, Affordable Equity Partners and Chicanos Por La Causa, Incorporated. Many projects focus on seniors, military veterans, people living with disabilities and those struggling with homelessness.