A Case for Integrating Housing and Healthcare Services

Connecting affordable housing and healthcare programs can improve both—especially for seniors and disabled people.

1 minute read

July 28, 2016, 10:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden

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As increasing numbers of seniors and disabled people rely on rental assistance, a new report suggests turning to a model of affordable housing that connects residents to healthcare services.

"Seniors and people with disabilities share many of the same non-housing needs; access to healthcare is perhaps the most crucial," Eillie Anzilotti explains in CityLab. "Affordable housing programs could act as a convener for less expensive and more sustainable health services for those in need."

Some HUD programs serve this purpose by siting health service coordinators in affordable housing developments, while private housing companies partner with non-profits to bring health services to their properties. The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation, which authored the report, wants Congress to consider these models when crafting housing policy.

Anzilotti notes that PAHRC's report is among the first to establish the benefits of linking housing and healthcare. Other research has shown that housing throughout the country—and particularly in the suburbs—is inadequate to meet the needs of aging populations, and that there is an insufficient supply of housing that accommodates disabled people.

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