NPR recently highlighted CHN Housing Partners’ lease-to-purchase program in Cleveland, Ohio, which uses the Housing Credit to offer renters the option to buy their home at below-market rents. Properties that have been financed using the Housing Credit must remain affordable rental housing for the first 15 years, but CNH has developed a program that allows tenants to purchase the home in year 16. This innovative model has allowed 1,150 families to become homeowners over the past 30 years, or 85 to 90 percent of the renters CNH serves. CNH is working with other cities, like Detroit and Baltimore, on similar programs.
NPR also explored the growing role of hospitals in the affordable housing market with a case study in Columbus, Ohio, where the Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been investing in its local neighborhood since 2008 through its Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families (HNHF) initiative. The initiative is aimed at increasing the role of health care institutions in changing outcomes for children who experience extreme poverty and the associated effects, including housing insecurity. Enterprise board member and consultant to HNHF, Dr. Megan Sandel, notes the Columbus program is exceptional in that the hospital actually owns and operates the housing, unlike other initiatives in which community organizations fill those roles. Thanks in part to changes in Medicaid reimbursement — designed to incentivize investments in preventative care — more hospitals nationwide are emphasizing healthy living spaces that keep communities healthier.