Health and Housing

How mercy housing northwest connects health and housing

We believe that health care happens in hospitals and doctors’ offices and that health happens in communities, in schools, at work, and at home. 

research shows that stable affordable housing has the power to improve health 

That’s why Mercy Housing Northwest and the King County Housing and Health Partnership have been bringing housing and health innovators together since 2013. Together, we are developing the case for health and wellness programs that reach people where they live. 

In an effort to connect people with low incomes to the health services they need, we have been providing Community Health Worker (CHW) services to residents of Mercy Housing Northwest, King County Housing Authority, and Interim CDA properties since 2014. 

Mercy Housing CHWs are multicultural, diverse, and speak seven languages: Amharic, English, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. They engage residents in a variety of activities designed to promote positive health behaviors, including health education and a strong focus on healthy eating and increased physical activity.

In June 2016, Mercy Housing Northwest was selected as the lead organization for the King County Housing-Health Partnership by the King County Accountable Community of Health (ACH).  The eight-member partnership is responsible for implementing the King County ACH’s regional health improvement project, whose goal is to demonstrate and measure a “proof of concept” for health and wellness interventions intended to prevent chronic disease, promote appropriate use of healthcare services, reduce costs, and improve health in communities with very low incomes and many immigrant residents. The partners are pursuing this goal by placing culturally competent CHWs in affordable and public housing communities and by developing an integrated database linking public and affordable housing data with Medicaid claims data. 


If you would like to learn more about Mercy Housing Northwest’s Housing and Health initiatives please contact Tavish Donahue