Children’s Hospital, Brigham & Women’s, and BMC to Collaborate to Help Low Income Families Pay Rent
NEC members Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital have partnered with Boston Medical Center (BMC) to launch a program to aid families struggling with rent. By joining forces on this initiative, the three major Boston hospitals are recognizing a substantive connection between stable housing and good health.
Research conducted by BMC has shown that housing, alongside food and education, plays a critical role in an individual’s health and their health care costs. Children are especially vulnerable to health issues and developmental delays if they lack a stable housing situation. City officials found than over 4,600 eviction cases were filed in Boston Housing Court in 2016, the majority of which involved residents in subsidized housing. As rent continues to rise in Boston, the hospitals identified access to affordable, stable housing as a major concern for low income families and their health.
The three hospitals plan to donate over $3 million over three years to fund housing programs and community grants. The first $1.5 million has be reserved for families behind on rent and at risk for eviction. Because of the hospitals’ financial commitment to this project, all three have also been granted state approval for construction plans at each of their campuses.
“The hospitals don’t think they’re going to fix the housing problem,” said Dr. Shari Nethersole, Executive Director for Community Health at Boston’s Children’s. “We recognize this is a societal problem. We’re trying to help identify where we do have a role, where we can help.”
The Council commends all three institutions for their commitment to support the health of low income families.