Today, Mercy Housing announced a new partnership with Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), an organization dedicated to solving the childhood obesity crisis.
In partnering with PHA, Mercy Housing, the largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing in the country, committed to employ active design strategies at 80 percent of its affordable housing communities. Active design requires that residents have space to exercise, that housing providers promote healthy eating, that residents have a place to store their bikes securely, and much more.
Jane Graf, CEO and President of Mercy Housing, announced the partnership at PHA’s “Building a Healthier Future” summit in Washington, D.C., and praised PHA for its commitment to helping children live healthier lives.
“PHA understands something we’ve intuitively known for a long time,” she said. “Medical care happens in the doctor’s office and in hospitals. Health happens in communities, at school, at the office, and most importantly, at home.”
“Affordable housing represents an essential platform and opportunity to address in our inner cities and rural areas the needs of populations with some of the greatest health risks,” said Larry Soler, PHA President and CEO. “The Partnership for a Healthier America is proud to work with affordable housing developers like Mercy Housing to prioritize key active design elements in their properties that have a big impact on resident’s health, quality of life and community vitality.”
The announcement comes at a time when one in five school-aged children has obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children with obesity have a higher risk of developing other chronic conditions including asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. Children who have obesity are also more likely to have obesity as adults; they also have a higher risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and several types of cancer.
About Mercy Housing
Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), is a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, Colo. Established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1981, and in operation in 41 states, MHI has 35 years’ experience developing, preserving, managing, and financing affordable housing. MHI supplements much of its housing with Resident Services, programs that help residents build stable lives. MHI’s subsidiaries further the organization’s mission: Mercy Housing Management Group (MHMG) offers professional property management and Mercy Loan Fund (MLF) finances nonprofit organizations. MHI serves tens of thousands of people with low incomes, including families, seniors, veterans, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with disabilities. Its mission is to build a more humane world where poverty is alleviated, communities are healthy, and all people can live to their full potential. To learn more about MHI and the services it provides, visit mercyhousing.org.
About Partnership for a Healthier America
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. We bring together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most importantly, we ensure that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making to show everyone what can be achieved when we all work together. Founded in 2010 in conjunction with – but independent from – Let’s Move!, we’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity advocates. Supporting our effort is our honorary chair former First Lady Michelle Obama, alongside our honorary vice-chairmen The Honorable William H. Frist, MD, and US Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ). Our board of directors also includes nationally recognized business leaders, advocates, health professionals and thought leaders from a variety of backgrounds.