CareSource invests $50M to support, preserve affordable housing

Erhardt Preitauer is the president and CEO of CareSource. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Erhardt Preitauer is the president and CEO of CareSource. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Investment adds muscle to affordable housing work nationwide

CareSource, a downtown Dayton-based managed care plan provider, said Tuesday it is committing $50 million in investments to enable and preserve affordable housing projects across the United States.

All of the investments in the portfolio will be focused in locations with either a high density of CareSource members, under-served populations -- or hard-to-serve geographies, the Dayton business said.

“Right now, there is no county in the U.S. where a person making minimum wage working full time can get an affordable two-bedroom apartment,” Erhardt Preitauer, CareSource president and chief executive, said in the company’s announcement. “We are now able to be on the leading edge in demonstrating how housing stability, quality, safety and affordability affect health outcomes, as do physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods.”

ExploreCareSource employees to continue working from home

The move follows what CareSource said has been years of support for affordable housing through CareSource Foundation grants.

Earlier this year, the organization also announced its role as an investor in the $100 million housing action fund administered by the Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County, which provides below-market financing for affordable housing development.

“We will not be buying property or businesses,” a CareSource spokesman told the Dayton Daily News. “We will be investing in Affordable Housing Loan Funds with other investors to provide financial resources to developers that are building or preserving housing units for low income individuals. We are targeting investments in communities with high rates of poverty or in areas that are underserved by affordable housing. "

In its release, CareSource cited this statistic: In the U.S. on average, for every 100 extremely low-income people searching for affordable housing, there are only 36 affordable units available.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse, the company said.

ExploreExclusive interview: New CEO leads CareSource through big changes, growth

“While it’s unusual for a nonprofit like CareSource to invest this way, we feel strongly that it makes good financial sense for the organization,” said Dave Goltz, the company’s chief financial officer.

The $50 million will be spread among its current markets including Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky and West Virginia as well as new markets as the organization grows its footprint.

Based in Dayton, CareSource serves over 1.8 million members in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Georgia. Ca