Morgan Stanley, Kresge, LISC connect affordable health care and housing

The Wall Street Journal's "Public-Private Fund Aims at Health Care, Housing Gap" details LISC's new Healthy Futures Fund with Morgan Stanley and The Kresge Foundation to connect affordable housing, health centers, and social services in impoverished neighborhoods.

Public-Private Fund Aims at Health Care, Housing Gap

14 Jan 2013 - Matthew Dolan, The Wall Street Journal

Excerpt:

Hoping to bridge the gap between low-income residents and health-care services, a $100 million fund will be unveiled this week to build community centers near affordable housing as demand for primary-care services is expected to rise.

Supporters say it is a new kind of public-private partnership boosted by the philanthropic sector that was inspired by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which could expand Medicaid coverage by up to 16 million additional people. The act includes about $10 billion for the creation of new, federally qualified health centers. The fund's backers say the financial need is greater still.

Increased insurance coverage doesn't necessarily mean that newly covered consumers will be able to see a doctor in a timely way, according to health-care economists. So the backers of the fund hope to increase the odds by building federally qualified health centers that administer to the poor alongside new and existing affordable housing. Today, the nation has more than 8,000 such centers that have added millions of new patients since 2009, according to the White House.

"The idea that we're going to need a lot more primary care is a foregone conclusion. We already have a shortage," said Stuart Altman, professor of national health policy at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., who studied the effectiveness of health centers for the Institute of Medicine. "This idea makes a lot of sense to me because we want to move people out of emergency rooms and into these centers for treatment."

The new fund, called Healthy Futures, is backed by Morgan Stanley, The Kresge Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit that controls tax credits for services to the poor. The fund will rely on $87 million in loans from Morgan Stanley in exchange for tax credits to build 500 new affordable housing units and eight new health centers serving 75,000 people. Kresge will back some of the debt incurred and award an additional $2.4 million in grants. The projects backed by the fund are expected to create 2,200 jobs in some of the nation's hardest-hit communities.

Audrey Choi, Morgan Stanley's head of global sustainable finance, said the new fund comes on the heels of the financial services company's other recent initiatives to create a $50 million fund to link affordable housing to transit system and a $100 million fund to boost the number of fresh-food providers in underserved areas in California and elsewhere.

"It demonstrates the kind of leverage and innovation that can be brought to bear against large-scale social needs when the resources of the public, private and philanthropic sectors are creatively joined," said Rip Rapson, Kresge's president. Continued[+]...*

> Read the full Wall Street Journal article. (* Please note - access to this online article requires a subscription to the Wall Street Journal)

> Read the Morgan Stanley, Kresge Foundation and LISC press release

Article Type: News