Strategic partnership creates a pathway for home ownership and developing generational wealth.

Habitat KC and Swope Health Announce Unique Workforce Housing Partnership

Kansas City, MO (February 19, 2024) – Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City and Swope Health have launched a strategic partnership and pilot benefit program to support Swope Health associates in becoming homebuyers.

This unique program, the first of its kind in Kansas City, creates a pathway for Swope Health associates to become homeowners and build the assets that create generational wealth.

Participants will receive individualized support to work through various obstacles to becoming mortgage-ready, including credit management, income-to-debt ratio, tax readiness, and financial management. Income-eligible team members may qualify for down-payment assistance.

Extensive research shows that a decent, affordable house can have a significant impact on a family’s health, while affordability raises a family’s standard of living and relieves the psychological pressure of being forced to make tough trade-offs just to make it through the month.

“Habitat for Humanity has a nearly 50-year history in elevating the idea that adequate, stable, and affordable housing is essential to health and well-being,” said Jeron Ravin, J.D., President and CEO of Swope Health. “For Swope Health, we view this initiative as a core tenet of our mission. Not only do we have a responsibility to deliver high-quality healthcare, but also to lead the work that health systems can enact to eradicate health disparities and disrupt structural racism. We challenge others to do this difficult work with us. “

A recent report from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City revealed that the Black homeownership rate in the Kansas City metro is 40%, compared to a White homeownership rate of 75%. Approximately 50 percent of Swope Health associates identify as Black or African American.

“In our current housing landscape, supporting our workforce in attaining affordable housing is paramount,” commented Lindsay Hicks, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City. “We are excited to be partnering with Swope Health on this innovative project to ensure that the dream of owning a home remains within reach for all.”

The program will kick off in February with information sessions where Swope Health associates can learn more about the benefit details. The program is modeled after a similar initiative launched by Habitat for Humanity in Omaha, which helped 50 workers become “mortgage-ready” and 31 purchase homes in its first two years.