Housing is Health Care


Detailed Description

"At first housing may not sound like a relevant health care issue, but research shows that lack of housing leads to increased rates of physical trauma, chronic diseases, dental issues, behavioral health problems, and exposure. Affordable housing was ranked as the #1 need in the University of Vermont Medical Center's 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment. In turn, The Medical Center and its partners in the community have come together to address housing issues to improve the health of not only UVM Medical Center patients, but the community as a whole.

Improving the lives of the communities it serves is inherent in the UVM Medical Center's mission. Not only does hospital leadership feel this is the right thing to do, but using hospital resources to address housing issues has proven to be an increasingly smart investment as the health care system moves away from a model that pays providers for the number of procedures they perform to a model that rewards keeping people as healthy as possible. 

The UVM Medical Center is involved with several housing initiatives, but three programs that really demonstrate community collaboration in addressing a need are:

  • Harbor Place: A renovated motel that has 39 single units, and 20 one and two-room kitchenettes. The UVM Medical Center discharges patients who have nowhere else to go to Harbor Place; average length of stay is 13.4 days.

  • Beacon Apartments: A motel that has been transformed into 19 permanent housing units.

  • Bel-Aire Apartments: Also a renovated motel that has 5 permanent stay apartments and 3 apartments designated for medical respite for complex patients. These patients are able to stay temporarily for up to 6 months.

All three facilities have on-site support services provided by community organizations. First, a case manager from the community's Federally Qualified Health Center, The Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB), connects residents with various resources such as medical insurance and permanent housing applications. In addition, mental health services are provided by clinicians from the Howard Center, the region's designated mental health agency, on an ad-hoc basis. Lastly, medical services are provided by several organizations such as the Visiting Nurse Association and CHCB."


For the full story, please click this link: https://insight.livestories.com/s/v2/housing-is-health-care/959d4254-cb77-46ca-9aaa-4a0021ec07a2/

Type of Story



  • Housing and homelessness

  • Health System Transformation Oasis

  • Population-centered

  • Safe

  • Individual/family

  • Network

  • Organization

  • Community/place

  • Home

  • Neighborhood

  • Broader community

  • Adults 18+

  • Adults 18-44

  • Adults 45-64

  • Older adults 65+

  • Older adults 65-74

  • Older adults 75-85

Geographic Unit
  • Neighborhood

  • Portfolio 2 (Improving social/spiritual well-being with patients or workforce)

    This portfolio supports health care organizations to consistently screen for and address the social and spiritual drivers of health and wellbeing for patients and/or employees. Social drivers encompass socioeconomic factors, such as food, housing, or transportation, for example, while spiritual drivers include factors that contribute to a sense of purpose, meaning, self-worth, hope, and resilience.

  • Portfolio 3 (Improving community health and well-being together with partners for a specific issue)

    ​​​​In this portfolio, health care organizations work together with community partners to improve specific health and wellbeing outcomes for a place-based population.

Action Areas
  • Data

    ​​​​​​Resources to help data collection by health care organizations in relation to population health, including cost and quality data on physical and mental health, number of ED visits, readmissions, demographics, and social determinant data supplemented by community partners. Community-level data should be stratified and used to identify and address inequities, and data should be shared across the community.

  • Community partnerships

    Resources to support partnering with local social-service agencies, faith communities, housing organizations, and other community-based organizations that have experience with addressing defined social and spiritual drivers.

  • Community benefit

    ​​​​​​Resources to help nonprofit hospitals obtain tax-exempt status by investing in community and population health, in range of services and activities that address the cause and impact of health-related needs.

Words to Describe