Dartmouth Health becomes NH's largest in-state investor to support the Community Loan Fund for more affordable homeownership

Photo of house keys

Investing in housing solutions provides health benefits to people and helps our communities thrive.

Sally Kraft, MD, MPH, Dartmouth Health Population Health Officer

In keeping with its mission of advancing the health of the population it serves, Dartmouth Health announces an additional $2 million investment in the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund to support affordable and safe housing. The health system’s combined $5 million in investments makes it the largest in-state investor in the fund.

The Community Loan Fund provides financing and education to help homeowners in manufactured-home communities purchase and run their parks as resident-owned communities (ROCs). It also offers fair, 30-year, fixed-rate manufactured-home mortgages to low-wealth homebuyers; and lends to developers of affordable multi-family rentals.

“Access to safe, affordable housing is an important driver of personal health and healthy communities,” said Sally Kraft, MD, MPH, Dartmouth Health Population Health Officer. “The quality of the home environment can have a direct impact on a person’s health. For example, consider how exposure to lead paint or allergies to substances in your home environment can make asthma symptoms even worse. Having a secure and healthy place to call home can decrease chronic stress and financial hardship. Additionally, it’s important to expand access to affordable housing in order to attract needed healthcare workforce to our region. Investing in housing solutions provides health benefits to people and helps our communities thrive.”

Resident-owned communities (ROC) provide affordable, stable and safe housing for people with low incomes. In most manufactured-home communities, the residents own their homes, but not the land beneath them. This leaves them vulnerable to land buyers who often raise rents to untenable rates or seek to remove the homes for redevelopment. New Hampshire law gives manufactured-home park residents the right of first refusal when there is a proposed change in park ownership, which is where the Community Loan Fund comes in. They have a strong record of helping manufactured-home residents convert to ROCs and take ownership of their financial futures.

“We are so pleased to increase our investment in the Community Loan Fund. The work they are doing has never been more important and the need never greater,” said Michael Waters, Dartmouth Health Treasurer. “We are proud to invest in an organization that continues to demonstrate that they put investor funds to work in an incredibly effective manner, in pursuit of keeping housing costs as low as possible and ensuring access to affordable housing for our communities.”

The Community Loan Fund also provides financing and coaching to nonprofits and local businesses, including childcare centers, farm and food enterprises, and black, brown, and indigenous entrepreneurs.

"We are grateful to Dartmouth Health for this significant increase in its investment in the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund,” said Steve Saltzman, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund President and CEO.  “Having New Hampshire's largest health system understand and support our work to connect more residents with affordable homeownership is both validating and motivating. Our programs will put these funds to work immediately, and every dollar we lend will generate $2.19 of economic impact in the communities we serve."

To learn more about the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, visit communityloanfund.org.

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.