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Kaiser Permanente and Enterprise Community Loan Fund Collaborate to Invest $4.3 Million to Create and Preserve Affordable Housing in San Diego and Los Angeles

To help tackle the homeless epidemic, a loan from Kaiser Permanente to Enterprise Community Loan Fund has recently resulted in two impact investments totaling $4.3 million in San Diego and Los Angeles to provide more affordable, secure homes for those most in need of shelter.

With 4.6 million members across Southern California, nonprofit Kaiser Permanente seeks to improve the health of the communities it serves by both providing high-quality, integrated health care services and enhancing the economic and social conditions in communities that impact people’s health.

In San Diego, $3.2 million will be invested to preserve 22 units of affordable housing at the 43rd Street Apartments in the City Heights area currently housing low- and moderate-income families. The developer, Housing Innovation Partners, plans to keep the rents for this housing stable for residents.

“Stable, affordable housing is essential to a person’s health,” said John Yamamoto, vice president of Community Health and Government Relations at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Yet, many of the communities we serve are grappling with high rates of housing insecurity and homelessness. These efforts are designed to help change that.”

Jon Walters, associate director of Housing Innovation Partners, emphasized how the loss of affordable, multifamily housing is impacting a growing number of families in the San Diego region, and how that is contributing to increased homelessness in the community.

“When we first met with the residents of the property, their main concern was that the purchase of the site would result in a dramatic increase in rent or a loss of their housing,” Walters said. “We were happy to inform them not only have we been able to preserve the site as affordable housing, but have the goal of reducing their tenant portion of rent over time.”

The San Diego and Los Angeles developments are the first impact investments in Southern California from the recently created $100 million RxHome Fund. This fund is comprised of a $50 million loan from Kaiser Permanente to Enterprise Community Loan Fund, plus an additional $50 million in capital from ECLF. The goal of the RxHome Fund is to create and to preserve 3,250 healthy and affordable homes over the next decade in Kaiser Permanente’s service areas nationwide.

The RxHome Fund is part of Kaiser Permanente’s $200 million Thriving Communities Fund addressing housing stability, homelessness and other community needs. The Thriving Communities Fund is designed to make investments to improve the conditions for health in the communities served by Kaiser Permanente, where 12.3 million members and 68 million people reside. Impact investing is an innovative strategy to produce measurable social benefit impacting people’s lives, with sufficient financial returns to replenish funds for continued investment.

Lori Chatman, president of Enterprise Community Loan Fund, said this $4.3 million investment of private capital is to support well-designed homes that are affordable and connected to health care, good jobs, schools and transit. “As a social impact investor, Kaiser Permanente is investing to create better health outcomes for residents while earning a financial return,” she explained. “We hope that Kaiser Permanente’s investment will inspire even more socially minded investors to recognize the connection between positive health outcomes and a stable home.”

In Los Angeles, $1.1 million will be invested in a Los Angeles Family Housing development in the North Hills area of the San Fernando Valley. The Angel Apartments project will transform 22,260 square feet of underutilized commercial space into 53 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless residents, as well as chronically homeless veterans. The development will feature four residental floors and on-site support services that include intervention, education and employment assistance, substance abuse and health treatment, after-school academic support and community activities.