BMC launches community investment

Boston Medical Center
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Boston Medical Center announced this month a $6.5 million investment initiative to support affordable housing in the city and track how health care systems can reduce medical costs for families by improving housing security and community health over a five-year period.

Although the Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires hospitals in the state to invest in community health, BMC will be the first hospital to invest in affordable housing.

“There is no greater predictor of health than where you live, whether you can afford your house and live in a good quality, stable home,” said Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, a BMC pediatrician and one of the lead directors of the initiative.

Through its initiative, BMC will invest in a diverse group of community organizations and housing developers in Roxbury and Dorchester neighborhoods, where a large percentage of its patients live.

These investments include $1 million to Pine Street Inn and the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program to create a housing stabilization program; a $1 million no-interest loan and $400,000 operating subsidy to support a new healthy food market in a new housing development in Roxbury; and $800,000 over four years to rehabilitate 35 units of Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation’s housing for individuals with mental health issues on Waldeck Street in Fields Corner.

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