The Role of Anchor Institutions in Restoring Neighborhoods: Health Institutions as a Catalyst for Affordable Housing and Community Development

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Janet Viveiros and Lisa Sturtevant

Year: 2016

Anchor institutions, such as hospitals and universities, can be important catalysts for urban economic and community development. They can take on a variety of roles—from community infrastructure builder to purchaser of local goods and services to developer of real estate. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nonprofit hospitals and other health care institutions have new obligations and opportunities to embrace their role as community anchors by pursuing activities that focus on addressing the comprehensive health needs in their communities. In the years to come, health care institutions can become more actively involved in supporting the development of safe, decent and affordable housing, a key social determinant of health. This brief describes those opportunities and provides specific guidance for how affordable housing and community development organizations can successfully partner with anchor institutions to improve neighborhoods and expand housing opportunities.

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Janet Viveiros is a senior research associate at NHC. Janet’s research interests center on the connection between affordable housing and education, health and economic self-sufficiency outcomes. Learn more about Janet’s work on her Staff Page.

Lisa Sturtevant, Ph.D. is NHC’s Vice President for Research and Director of the Center for Housing Policy. Her primary areas of research include the relationship between housing and economic development, residential mobility and demographics. Learn more about Lisa’s work on her Staff Page.