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Health Program invests in 13 organizations to address housing instability and promote well-being


The Kresge Foundation’s Health Program announced the first set of grantees to receive support via a new funding opportunity, Advancing Health Equity through Housing Initiative (HEH).

This funding opportunity is situated within the Health Program’s Community-Driven Solutions focus area, defined as locally determined solutions and policies that influence systems, services and practices to help support communities to improve housing quality, stability, environmental conditions and food systems. Local community input and insight helped inform priority areas for the initiative to address as well as identify local organizations that would be strong applicants.

Launched in late summer, this initiative seeks to identify practices that hold the promise of improving health by connecting the housing and health sectors. Because of the centrality of housing in providing a platform for individuals and families to achieve well-being and economic stability, the initiative particularly aims at the demonstrated harmful physical and mental health impacts of housing instability.

Grantees were awarded either planning grants (for up to one year and up to $100,000 in grant support), or general operating support and programmatic grants (for up to two years, and up to $200,000 in grant support per year).

“The ambition of these grantees is simply phenomenal, said David Fukuzawa, managing director of Kresge’s Health and Human Service Programs. “With this suite of investments, we are funding a wide array of approaches, including those that contribute to reductions in chronic housing-related health conditions such as asthma and diabetes, those that lead to an increased uptake of health and human services, those that advance sound public policy and those that activate community connectivity and cohesiveness through housing and health activities.”

“Kresge has learned important lessons about the intersection of health and stable, equitable housing,” said Senior Fellow Fred Karnas, also a longtime leader in housing policy. “We now know that housing, is paramount for individuals and families to achieve well-being and economic stability. And we also know that solutions designed with significant and meaningful input from those most affected are most likely to result in positive long-term change.  We are investing in those organizations that are spurring positive change change in cities and neighborhoods across the country.”

This initiative also seeks to generate these additional results:

  • A more crystalized appreciation of the efficacy of inter-braiding the housing and health fields as a way of improving urban opportunity for low-income people;
  • A heightened recognition that the most effective approaches will emerge when community members have the tools, the power, and the support necessary to influence the public and private systems that shape their lives and their pathways of opportunity;
  • A clearer understanding of the importance of geographical context – that each place implicates very different combinations of presenting problems, effective approaches, and key actors from the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors;
  • A deeper exploration of which strategies can be applied across multiple settings. 

This new set of grantees include the following organizations and public sector agencies: