Member News

Healthcare Foundation of La Porte Starts Housing Initiative

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL) has embarked on a new initiative assessing current and future housing needs in the City of La Porte. HFL has contracted SB Friedman, a real estate development advisory firm based in Chicago, to prepare a housing strategy for the City of La Porte. This strategy will build upon La Porte County’s recent housing study and will focus specifically on the City of La Porte.

“Housing is one of the best researched social determinants of health," HFL CEO Maria Fruth said. "Because housing is a social determinant for health and well-being, HFL is compelled to support this endeavor. Social determinants of health are the non-medical factors that influence health and well-being, including the conditions in which people are born, live, work, and age.”

At this time, the housing initiative is in the first stage of an in-depth study, analyzing housing needs, housing-related issues, and the unique opportunities and challenges associated with La Porte City’s housing market today. Michele Magnuson, HFL board member, is chairing the Housing Initiative committee, which consists of local, county, and state government representatives, along with housing specialists, realtors, and more.

This housing study aims to better understand unmet housing needs in the City of La Porte, encourage new residential development and community growth, and support the construction of a spectrum of housing. To begin, HFL and SB Friedman will conduct focus groups and one-on-one interviews with stakeholders to gather well-rounded input and perspectives. Key stakeholder voices include housing advocates, developers, real estate professionals in the affordable housing space, government and school resources, local business and corporate representatives, a pastoral group and more.

HFL’s aim is to invite voices from across the City of La Porte, and across generations, to provide a full picture of the needs and opportunities for housing development and growth in our city. “Upon taking office in 2020, our administration made a commitment to provide more options for affordable housing that meets our standards for quality, especially in low-income neighborhoods," Mayor Tom Dermody said. "We have made progress in the last couple of years and there is more we will do. This remains one of our top priorities as we continue to grow and improve, and we are so grateful to the Healthcare Foundation for their support as we work on this important issue together.”

This initial housing study has been funded by HFL along with a contribution from Horizon Bank.

HFL’s mission is empowering La Porte County residents to live healthy and well. Since 2017, HFL has invested over $34 million in the La Porte County community. To learn more about HFL and community impact, please visit the foundation’s website.

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