On February 28, 2019, the Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) convened its members in Washington, D.C. for “Housing for Health” Policy Day, an inaugural event on Capitol Hill which saw Congressional and Administration staff, national healthcare associations, housing advocacy groups, and philanthropy organizations attend a federal policy briefing about the impact of economic determinants on health and the universal need for stable, affordable, and healthy housing. 17 HAN member health systems attended the event, and 21 health systems signed onto a Principles for Healthy and Affordable Housing document that was shared with Congressional members. Together, these health systems represent more than 500 hospitals in 37 states.
HAN members spoke powerfully about the connection between housing and health outcomes. Dr. Samuel Ross, Chief Community Health Officer with Bon Secours Mercy Health; Dr. Thea James, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Mission, and Director of the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program with Boston Medical Center; and Dr. Bechara Choucair, SVP and Chief Community Health Officer with Kaiser Permanente presented on the work their health systems are leading to invest in housing in the communities they serve and the need for further funding of affordable housing programs.
Two Congressional members spoke about the need for affordable housing: Rep. Jim McGovern, Chair, Rules Committee and Co-Chair, House Hunger Caucus, and Rep. Katie Hill, Co-Chair, New Democrat Coalition’s Housing Task Force.