Kaiser Permanente doubles affordable housing investment to $400M

Kaiser Permanente has doubled its social impact investment fund to $400 million, unlocking more money to build affordable housing and other value-based investments. 

The nonprofit healthcare provider’s announcement Thursday comes as the Biden administration is pressing for the industry to tackle social risk factors such as food and housing insecurity. 

Kaiser’s Thriving Communities Fund was launched in 2018 and had initially $200 million. The fund has invested heavily in affordable housing opportunities and is on track to create or preserve 15,000 units of housing by 2025. 

“Doubling the fund to $400 million will double the impact to create or preserve 30,000 units before 2030, while also advancing inclusive economic development in communities to address systemic economic disadvantage,” Kaiser said in a release. 

As part of the additional investments, Kaiser will give loan capital to “transform a previously underutilized eight-acre area in Washington, D.C., with mixed-income housing and public health resources,” the provider added.

Healthcare systems and some payers have been increasing investments in tackling social determinants of health such as food insecurity or transportation issues. 

Insurer UnitedHealth Group earlier this month announced a $100 million investment in affordable housing, bringing its total housing investment to $800 million. The insurer has created more than 19,000 housing units as part of the initiative. 

CVS also invested $114 million in affordable housing in 2020, hoping to also set aside certain units for the homeless and seniors. 

The major investments in housing come as the healthcare industry is pressing to tackle social risk factors. 

The Biden administration has signaled that it will judge both payers and providers on their impact on addressing social risk factors. For example, administration officials have hinted participants in value-based care models will have to create an equity plan laying out their strategy for addressing health disparities.