‘Landmark investment’: Mass General Brigham awards $18 million to 22 groups for affordable housing

BOSTON — Massachusetts General Hospital has awarded $18 million to 22 local organizations to support affordable housing initiatives in Boston and North Suffolk County, officials said Monday.

The Phillip and Susan Ragon Building, a multi-year construction project that will result in a state-of-the-art clinical care building on the Mass General campus, triggered this landmark investment through the Massachusetts Determination of Need process, officials said.

This investment—totaling more than $62 million dollars—is the largest in Massachusetts history.

“The evidence is clear: a lack of access to stable housing leads to inequitable health outcomes,” Dr. Anne Klibanski, president and CEO of Mass General Brigham, said in a statement. “The new Ragon Building will help ensure that our patients receive the care they deserve, while the Community Health Impact Funds will help boost quality, safe and affordable housing in the communities we serve.”

The organizations selected are:

• Boston Affordable Housing Coalition DBA Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants

• Boston Tenant Coalition

• Bridge Over Troubled Waters

• Chinese Progressive Association

• Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association

• City Life Vida Urbana DBA Revival, Inc.

• CIty of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing

• Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

• FamilyAid Boston, Inc. DBA FamilyAid

• Greater Boston Legal Services

• GreenRoots, Inc.

• HarborCOV

• HomeStart, Inc.

• Homes for All Massachusetts

• Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School

• Madison Park Development Corp.

• More Than Words

• New England United 4 Justice

• The Neighborhood Developers, Inc.

• Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts, Inc.

• Urban Edge

• Women’s Lunch Place

“Housing insecurity and substandard housing are strongly linked to health conditions like cardiovascular disease, asthma, and chronic stress,” Dr. David Brown, president of Mass General Brigham’s Academic Medical Centers. “We are so pleased for the opportunity to invest in and partner with these community-based organizations offering life- and health-altering solutions to the housing crisis in Suffolk County.”

In a statement, Mayor Michelle Wu said stable housing in the city is “fundamental” to positive health outcomes.

“The City of Boston is grateful that Mass General Brigham has committed $18 million towards solving housing related issues in Boston. Stable housing is fundamental to health outcomes, and these funds will shape better health for many Boston residents,” Wu said. “MGB’s commitment to the new Acquisition Opportunity fund will allow the City to acquire and preserve affordable housing throughout Boston by taking it off the speculative market. It is an innovative way for us to combat displacement, and it will have a positive impact on the city and its residents for generations to come.”

After more than a year of discussions, the MGH Community Advisory Board identified four Community Health Impact Funds priorities.

The $18 million housing allocation is the first to be rolled out, with funding opportunities for the other three priorities—mental and behavioral health, economic mobility and financial stability, and food insecurity—being released this spring and summer.

A 12-member Housing Allocation Committee, comprised of community leaders and housing experts from local and state government, public agencies, nonprofits, and the philanthropic community, selected the awardees. Officials said decisions were based on creative, community-centered, impactful proposals addressing at least one of the three strategies determined by the board: production and preservation of affordable housing, eviction prevention, and support for community development corporations and other non-profit development organizations.

“We are so grateful for the dedication and commitment of our CAB and Housing Allocation Committees,” Dr. Elsie Taveras, Mass General Brigham Chief Community Health and Health Equity Officer said in a statement. “As community leaders and experts in community-based housing challenges and solutions, these committee members engaged in a thoughtful, data- and community-informed process to fund those proposals aimed at achieving the greatest community health equity impact.”

“The housing crisis in our state and across the country is felt most acutely in historically marginalized communities,” said Dr. Leslie Aldrich, Mass General Brigham’s Executive Director for Community Health. “The 22 proposals chosen reflect an equitable, multi-pronged approach to benefitting those most impacted by housing insecurity—unhoused populations, LGBTQ+, immigrants, domestic violence survivors, communities of color, and more.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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