The connection between health and housing was the focus of a recent roundtable discussion in Montgomery County with state and federal lawmakers, COHHIO, St. Mary Development Corp., CareSource and Dayton Children’s Hospital.

During the event, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton), and State Reps. J. Todd Smith (R-Germantown), Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), and Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) got to see first-hand how affordable housing empowers their low-income and vulnerable constituents to live healthy, independent, and fulfilling lives.

St. Mary Development Corporation President Tim Bete explained how federal and state housing subsidies, combined with ready access to supportive services, enable seniors to avoid premature and costly institutionalizations.

Amy Riegel, director of housing for CareSource – Ohio’s largest Medicaid managed Care organization – said affordable housing was essential for improving their members’ health and wellbeing, while reducing healthcare costs. She also discussed CareSource’s involvement in a pilot project designed to reduce infant mortality through access to affordable housing.

Jessica Saunders, director of community engagement for Dayton Children’s Hospital, highlighted the importance of safe, decent, affordable housing for children to grow up healthy and thrive.

Hillsboro Event: In September, COHHIO staff helped organize an event in Hillsboro to show local legislators and state agency staff how affordable housing helps span the gap between high rents and low wages for working families in Highland County.

Rep. Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) joined COHHIO’s Bill Faith, Julia Wise, executive director of Highland County Community Action, and Greg Thirtyacre, president of NCJC Housing & Development Foundation, for a roundtable discussion on affordable housing before touring Hi-Land Terrace Apartments. The Hillsboro Times-Gazette published a story about the event.

Cincinnati Tour: COHHIO is helping to coordinate a tour in Cincinnati with Over-the-Rhine Housing, Cincinnati United Bethel, and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing on Dec. 16. The event will highlight the importance of affordable housing for those exiting the criminal justice system. Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible to COHHIO’s Advocacy Director Gina Wilt! And contact Gina if you would like to help host or participate in a housing event in your community.