Housing as Health Care: A Collaboration Between Health Care Providers and Community-Based Organizations
Special Projects Fund
March 23, 2018
Social determinants of health are economic and social conditions that influence the health of people and communities, such as education, income, neighborhood conditions, and food insecurity.
Housing affordability, stability, and quality are key social determinants that can have a significant impact on health outcomes. As the health care industry and New York State shift toward value-based payment through the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program and Performing Provider Systems (PPSs), there has been an increased focus on improving social determinants of health to help lower health care costs and improve the quality of care. To help make this shift, improved coordination between clinical providers and community-based organizations is needed. In January 2018, NYHealth awarded Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) a grant to develop productive partnerships and effective referrals between PPS entities and community-based organizations to better connect the health care and housing sectors, as well as improve housing stability and quality, and therefore health outcomes, for low-income New Yorkers.
Under this grant, LISC established collaborations between PPSs and community-based organizations with a focus on residents in Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, and East New York, Brooklyn, and Corona, Queens—all areas that experience disproportionate rates of housing problems. LISC collected data from community health needs assessments and gathered public health and housing data from various sources to better understand the existing housing conditions of the neighborhoods. This information was used to select specific housing services most likely to have a positive impact on improving health outcomes for residents. LISC then facilitated collaboration and referrals by having PPSs and community-based organizations integrate both health and housing referrals into their respective databases, so that, ultimately, both sides have a more comprehensive understanding of the services their clients and patients have accessed. LISC helped the participating health care providers and community-based organizations determine the best method for tracking and making client referrals to one another across the various databases. At the conclusion of this project, LISC developed an implementation plan for a suite of healthy housing services and an effective referral system that can be replicated by other community-based organizations and PPSs.