Housing for health

Housing for health

Without a safe place to call home, it’s impossible to focus on basic health and medical needs. Kaiser Permanente leads efforts to address homelessness and preserve affordable housing. We do this by making strategic impact investments, shaping policy, and fostering partnerships. 

Thriving Communities Fund

Kaiser Permanente established the Thriving Communities Fund in 2018. The goal of this $400 million fund is to tackle housing instability and homelessness. It also aims to promote economic opportunity for communities of color. Our goal is to create or preserve 30,000 housing units by 2030. In 2023, we achieved a major milestone. We preserved and created more than 12,000 affordable housing units. The Thriving Communities Fund has created or contributed to these funds:  

  • Housing for Health Fund: Provides equity capital to buy multiunit housing. The goal is to protect residents from rent increases and eviction. The fund operates in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, California. We partnered with co-investor JPMorgan Chase to protect 685 units as affordable long-term housing. We ensured necessary property upgrades and provided residents with supportive social services.
  • RxHome Fund: Provides affordable, long-term loans. These loans help to create and preserve rental homes for residents who have low incomes. The fund operates in communities where we provide care and coverage.
  • Bay’s Future Fund: Invests in development projects. It focuses on 5 Bay Area counties. Its goal is to catalyze preservation and production of affordable housing. The fund is part of the Partnership for the Bay’s Future.
  • Supportive Housing Fund: Supports high-quality permanent, supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. It operates in California, especially Los Angeles. The fund uses innovations to reduce cost and construction time. The goal is to deliver more units faster.
  • Community Solutions Large Cities Housing Fund: Acquires and improves multiunit properties. The goal is to secure affordable and supportive housing. And the aim is to end veteran homelessness in cities across the United States.
  • Baldwin Village: Aims to preserve 660 affordable units in South Los Angeles. This is in partnership with Avanath Capital Management.

Ensuring safe, stable housing for all

  • We partner with Built for Zero, an initiative of Community Solutions. We want to build the evidence that ending homelessness is possible. We aim to improve the lives and health of people experiencing homelessness in our communities.
  • We partner with the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership to integrate legal services into the health care system. We build the capacity of the legal services sector and increase access to legal services. The goal is to prevent individuals and families from losing their homes.
  • We partner with the National Institute for Medical Respite Care. Some people are not sick enough for the hospital but need help to recover from an illness or injury. If people are too ill or frail, they can’t recover on the streets. They can access short-term housing and medical care through medical respite programs in our communities.
  • Our Project HOME pilot uses a Housing First approach. The goal is to house our members and patients who are homeless. We are examining the program’s impact on health outcomes. We are also examining whether the program leads to reductions in the total cost of care.
  • Preservation Next is an initiative of Enterprise Community Partners. We support its work to preserve affordable small to medium multifamily homes. The goals are to keep families and residents in their homes and to stabilize communities.
  • CityHealth promotes policies that improve health and address key issues like affordable housing and green space. CityHealth is an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.
  • We pledged $25 million to advance long-term solutions to California’s homelessness crisis in coordination with Gov. Gavin Newsom. Our commitment supported operational and supportive services for 1,000 housing units. This effort was part of Project Homekey in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners.
  • The Oakland 515 initiative offered stable housing and support to older adults in Oakland, California. These older adults were living with at least one chronic medical condition. They were also experiencing chronic homelessness. This initiative was part of our partnership with Bay Area Community Services.
  • We partnered with Health Share of Oregon on the Metro 300 program. The goal was to help 300 homeless seniors access safe, stable housing in Portland, Oregon. At the end of the program, we placed 416 older adults experiencing chronically homeless into permanent housing. The program documented a decrease in health care costs. It also saw an increase in behavioral health services. Additionally, there was a decrease in emergency department use.
  • We are a founding member of Healthcare Anchor Network, which brings together 50 health systems to work together. We advocate for affordable housing and secure federal support for finding a solution to homelessness. 
  • We joined the Mayors and CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, a project of the National League of Cities. It aims to promote federal affordable housing reforms.

‘The Way Home’

“The Way Home” is a short-form documentary series produced by KTF Films and Bread and Butter Films. The series aims to deepen understanding and spark dialogue. It illuminates root causes of the homelessness crisis. The series tells personal stories of people experiencing homelessness. It documents their lives, often overlooked, and their struggles. It also presents promising solutions to end homelessness in California and beyond.

Season 1 centers on the causes of homelessness in California. It highlights the collaboration among volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and local government leaders. Season 2 focuses on 2 main issues: the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism. Season 3 highlights solutions for ending homelessness. All 3 seasons are available on YouTube.

We can make a difference for our most vulnerable communities. But we cannot solve the affordable housing and homelessness crises alone. Innovative partnerships, strategic investments, and impactful storytelling are key to these solutions.