One in five homes in North Carolina is classified as either substandard or unaffordable. Research has shown that substandard housing leads to a multitude of health conditions, including asthma and lead poisoning, as well as mental health issues. In addition, there is a higher risk of adverse health outcomes for families that are cost-burdened, move frequently, or experience homelessness.
Enterprise Community Partners aims to address these issues through a national initiative, Health Begins with Home, that will invest $250 million over the next five years to improve community health through housing. This initiative has a unique approach of using community engagement and centers on cross-sector partnerships to promote health as a top priority in the development and preservation of affordable homes. The initiative will also promote the elevation of homes as an essential tool for improving resident and community health.
Health Begins with Home will focus on four key areas:
- Conducting research to learn and leverage the connection between quality, stable, affordable homes and healthier outcomes
- Awarding grants to local nonprofits to fund housing and community health programs and to increase partnerships between housing and health care organizations
- Providing technical assistance to leverage and align resources with opportunity, use data to strengthen decision making, lift up best practices and advance smart policies
- Connecting capital from health care organizations, institutional investors and social impact funds to develop and preserve healthy, well-designed homes that are affordable.