The Florida Housing Coalition’s 27th Annual Statewide Affordable Housing Conference, held in Orlando during September, for the first time featured a panel discussion focused on the connection between home and health.
Assembled by the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), the panel discussed “Partnerships and Funding Opportunities that Connect Health and Housing.” Lisa Portelli, WPHF Program Director for Community Health, joined representatives from Rebuilding Together Orlando and the Florida Community Loan Fund on the panel.
The goal of the panel was to further the connection between home and health, and participants highlighted effective strategies for new construction and renovation to remedy health hazards and provide a healthful living environment.
Ms. Portelli elaborated on partnership opportunities with hospital conversion foundations using as an example, WPHF support for community nonprofits such as Rebuilding Together Orlando, providing affordable home ownership. The panel also featured foundation funding of the statewide efforts of the Florida Community Loan Fund, which recently joined ReFresh, a national initiative by JP Morgan Chase Foundation’s Reinvestment Fund designed to improve access to healthy foods in urban and rural communities across the U.S.
According to conference organizers, the “sold out” panel session provided many useful tips to increase partnerships and funding opportunities throughout the state. They said they were encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the topic of health and housing and plan to continue to feature it at future conferences.
The FHC annual conference draws more than 600 housing professionals from all over the state, including representatives from business, government, banking, developers, and other affordable housing advocates in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.