CareSource, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan, has invested $2.5 million toward a new partnership as part of its $7 million commitment in investments to affordable housing projects in Indiana. This commitment is part of the $50 million financial investment CareSource is making to housing projects across the U.S., focusing on historically marginalized communities. CareSource recognizes homeownership as a primary driver in building wealth in the United States. Through this partnership, CareSource is putting the commitment to achieving health equity into action.
The organization is investing with Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership® (INHP), the leading homeownership resource in Marion County whose mission is to increase affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for individuals and families and serve as a catalyst for the development and revitalization of neighborhoods. INHP helps individuals on their homeownership journey with homebuyer and financial education, one-on-one homeownership advising, affordable mortgages and home repair loans.
“A main goal of ours is to be able to improve housing access for people who are traditionally left out of homeownership and to support the state in its efforts to bring about equity for all Hoosiers,” said Steve Smitherman, CareSource Indiana president. “Through our partnership with INHP, we’re taking steps toward achieving racial equity.”
The goal of the new partnership is to bolster efforts to create homeownership opportunities for individuals and families experiencing disproportionate wealth and racial disparities in Marion County. A study from the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) found the Black homeownership rate in Marion County is 34%, compared to 64% for white homeownership in the county. At a state level, 37% of Black Hoosiers own a home compared to 73% of Caucasian Hoosiers. Moreover, even in predominantly Black neighborhoods in Marion County, 56% of homes are owned by white residents, with only 37% owned by Black residents.
“In 1988, INHP was founded upon a partnership culture to help eliminate real and perceived barriers that people with low and moderate incomes, who are disproportionately Black people and people of color, face regarding housing,” said Moira Carlstedt, president and CEO of INHP. “The work is not done, the need is growing, and we are grateful CareSource has chosen to partner alongside us in our pursuit of creating more equitable and inclusive housing opportunities for Indianapolis residents and the neighborhoods in which they chose to live.”
Over the past year, CareSource has strengthened its commitment in contributing to affordable housing opportunities, and reducing racial disparities in housing, this investment with INHP is a continuation of this commitment. In July of this year, CareSource invested $1 million toward a partnership with Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP) and Terebinth Group to provide housing relief to individuals with disabilities. The investment helped support Terebinth Group’s growing portfolio of 99 housing units that serve over 300 individuals with disabilities throughout the state of Indiana.
Additionally, in 2020, CareSource joined 33 other organizations in asking senators and representatives to address housing instability in the next COVID-19 relief package. Dubbed the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act, the $100 billion rental relief fund would be a tremendous support to prevent individuals from falling into deeper housing instability. Because the larger percentage of renters in the United States are BIPOC individuals (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), this relief package helps mitigate the disproportionate impacts on many racial and ethnic communities. Supporting housing programs is crucial, as there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income households in Indiana, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.