May 22, 2019
In May 2018, Kaiser Permanente, the largest private integrated care system in the US, announced that it would invest $200 million through its Thriving Communities Fund to address the affordable housing crisis in California’s Bay Area. Then in 2019, Kaiser announced that it used the fund to purchase an apartment building in a diverse but quickly gentrifying neighborhood in Oakland with the express purpose of making repairs and upgrades to improve health in the building and to ensure affordability to current residents. If Kaiser wanted to improve health, why wouldn’t it focus solely on housing upgrades, which research shows can produce positive health outcomes (PDF)? Why would it include maintaining affordability in its mandate?