Enterprise Launches Two-Year Oregon Health and Housing Initiative

Innovating programs to improve health outcomes and lower system costs for Portland’s vulnerable populations

PORTLAND, Ore. (May 16, 2014) – A two-year initiative to develop effective and cost-efficient health and housing programs for the city’s vulnerable populations launched during a recent convening of eight local organizations. Led by Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), the Oregon Health and Housing Learning Collaborative (OHHLC) brings together housing organizations and health and service providers to develop and test strategies that improve the health and well-being of targeted populations in affordable housing while lowering costs to the health care system. 
The initiative also includes a study by Providence’s Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) that will assess the impact of stable housing on health care utilization, costs and quality in low-income populations and assess the specific impact of integrated services in housing on potential savings and health indicators.
“Homelessness and housing instability lead to poorer health outcomes and to an increased use of the most expensive interventions,” noted Amanda Saul, senior program director, Enterprise Pacific Northwest market. “By increasing the capacity of the participating housing providers, they can deliver quality health-related services leading to healthier residents and lower health care costs and rehospitalizations.”
OHHLC members comprise eight housing organizations that provide affordable apartments to thousands of residents including low-income families, seniors and people with histories of homelessness, criminal convictions, substance abuse and serious mental and chronic physical
conditions. Participating organizations are Cedar Sinai Park, Home Forward, Central City Concern, Innovative Housing, Inc., Cascadia Behavioral Health, Northwest Housing Alternatives, Catholic Charities and Human Solutions.
The Oregon Health and Housing Learning Collaborative’s work is underwritten in part by a $250,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust.  “Through the learning collaborative’s work, proven health and housing models can be implemented by affordable housing providers throughout the state, leading to longer, healthier futures for low-income Oregonians,” said Doug Stamm, CEO, Meyer Memorial Trust.
In addition to OHHLC ‘s work, the Meyer Memorial Trust grant funds CORE’s study, which leverages its recent report on health services and outcomes for residents at Bud Clark Commons conducted for Home Forward and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

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