ONE Neighborhood Builders awarded $100K grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation

PROVIDENCE – ONE Neighborhood Builders plans to use a $100,000 grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation to increase the supply of affordable, quality housing for diverse populations of older people in Rhode Island, the nonprofit announced.

The two-year grant is part of a total of $1.7 million that Tufts Health Plan Foundation has awarded in the Northeast to programs that support healthy aging. ONE Neighborhood Builders was the sole grant recipient in Rhode Island.

The group partners with Federal Hill House Association to lead the Central Providence Healthy Aging Network. Six Providence neighborhoods are served by the program, which offers transportation, meals, help with Medicaid applications and social opportunities to seniors. About 38% of the network’s members say housing insecurity is a top concern, according to One Neighborhood Builders.

The organization is aiming to use the grant to develop a housing system to serve older Rhode Islanders with low to very low incomes.

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“We believe that affordable, safe, accessible and service-enriched housing is essential for ‘aging strong in community’… [which] is predicated upon the development of housing, which leads to decreased use of expensive health care and assisted-living costs while also reducing health disparities that disproportionately impact low-income persons of color,” said Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders. “The importance of this work has been confirmed and highlighted by the exacerbation of long-standing health disparities in our community because of the pandemic.”

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.