OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health system, announced an impact investing commitment today of up to $200 million through its Thriving Communities Fund to address housing stability and homelessness, among other community needs. The organization’s initial focus will be 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.
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.
Housing stability is a key factor in a person’s overall health and well-being, with homelessness affecting more than 550,000 people every day. 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.
“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.”
Kaiser Permanente 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. Together with mayors from Alexandria, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; Charlotte, North Carolina; Oakland, California; and Portland Oregon, Kaiser Permanente will convene stakeholders to discuss national housing challenges at a meeting today in Washington, D.C.
“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 Bechara Choucair, MD, 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.”
There will be additional details shared in the coming weeks about Kaiser Permanente’s investments in local communities across the United States.