Health and the Built Environment

Many low-income children and adults nationwide suffer disproportionately from chronic health problems such as asthma and toxic stress because they live in poorly constructed and maintained homes and neighborhoods that lack access to vital services and resources. Social determinants of health, like housing and neighborhood environment, are now coming to the forefront not just as an integral component but the genesis of health and well-being.

Today, the housing, community development and health care sectors have a unique opportunity to leverage each other’s work to collectively address significant health needs in low-income communities.

Building on decades of cross-sector collaboration to create and promote healthy housing, Enterprise’s Health and Housing initiative brings together the fields of health care, affordable housing and community development. Together, we are developing and testing new models for collaboration and scaling solutions for greater impact to address the significant health needs in low-income communities.

Aging in Community

Boston Senior Learning Community

Enterprise is convening a group of 14 housing and service providers who are working together to develop strategies to improve the health and service outcomes for Boston area seniors in a one-year Learning Community. The Learning Community is a vehicle to transform the relationships between senior housing providers and senior service organizations. The goal is to achieve better service outcomes for low-income older adults and increase operational efficiencies for both the housing providers and service organizations.

National Affordable Senior Housing Plus Services Learning Collaborative

Enterprise partnered with LeadingAge and SAHF to lead a two-year Learning Collaborative focused on improving health outcomes for older adults.

Collaborating for Healthier Communities

Linking to Healthcare

Across the country, Enterprise supports collaborations between housing providers and the services and health communities who are working to improve resident health outcomes and better coordinate how residents receive services. These collaborations help infuse a culture of health into the affordable housing community.

Oregon Health and Housing Learning Collaborative

In Portland, Oregon, Enterprise has partnered with nine local affordable housing organizations to create the Oregon Health and Housing Learning Collaborative to assess how the link between housing and health care affects vulnerable individuals in Oregon. The focus of this health care reform-oriented collaborative is on:

  • Convening housing and health care entities around aligned objectives
  • Supporting the strongest housing providers with grant funds and technical assistance to develop integrated housing-plus-health care models
  • Sharing research and establish best practices.

Supportive Housing

Changing Lives in Greater Cleveland

The Housing First Initiative is our community’s response to the crisis of men, women and children living on the streets or cycling in and out of shelters for months, even years, without hope for an affordable, safe place to call home.

  • Housing First uses permanent supportive housing which enables chronically homeless individuals, young adults and families to work to regain control over their lives and their health in a safe, secure environment.
  • Permanent supportive housing is a proven, evidenced-based practice for addressing chronic homelessness
  • Housing First’s goal is to create enough permanent supportive housing apartments to end chronic homelessness in Cuyahoga County. We are well on our way to reaching that goal as chronic homelessness has dropped 77% in our region since the first Housing First building opened in 2006

Learn how six Housing First residents triumphed over homelessness.

Housing First launched a Mobile Health Clinic in January 2015 to meet residents’ primary and behavioral health care needs. See our Housing First and Health fact sheet for more information.

Los Angeles Resident Services Roundtable

In Southern California, Enterprise is organizing and delivering a series of capacity building trainings targeted to local affordable housing developers serving older, often frail, residents in their housing communities. The sessions feature subject experts to address priority areas within this topic of aging in place. The goal is for affordable housing development organizations to acquire the ability to develop and refine their operations and resident service delivery to maximize quality of life and independence for older residents.

Health Advisory Council

As Enterprise works to end housing insecurity in the United States, we are committed to improving health outcomes and reducing health inequities through quality, affordable housing. Bringing the power of partnership to our Health and Housing initiative, we have formed the Enterprise Health Advisory Council.


Contact National Initiatives

The National Initiatives team supports organizations across the country by providing technical assistance in our focus areas of building sustainable organizations, equitable transit-oriented development, design leadership, health and housing, and rural and Native American housing. Technical assistance engagements can vary in timeline, cost, and deliverables.

If you are interested in seeking technical assistance from the National Initiatives team, please submit a request for support. A member of the National Initiatives team will determine if our expertise and capacity aligns with your request and a member of the team will respond promptly.

Request Support