FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Media Contact: Molly Moses
OHFA Awards Housing Tax Credits to Developments That Prioritize Reducing Infant Mortality
COLUMBUS - On May 16, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency awarded housing tax credits to ten developments leveraging $500,000 to reduce infant mortality. These developments, located across the state of Ohio, will partner with eight organizations who will work with residents at-risk of being impacted by infant mortality.
The following organizations will each receive $50,000 through partnerships with owners of affordable housing to implement their proposed programs, which include prenatal health care services, head start programs, safe sleep education, centering pregnancy and more: Birthing Beautiful Communities, Community Action Commission of Fayette County, CareSource, CelebrateOne, Madison Health, Moms2B and Clermont County Every Child Succeeds Program. These organizations will work with residents located in Franklin, Cuyahoga, Fayette, Madison and Montgomery counties.
First Year Cleveland is receiving a total of $150,000 from three developments for their proposed programs at La Villa Hispana MetroHealth District Affordable Housing Initiative, Legacy at Saint Luke's and Village Green II in Cuyahoga County. At these developments, First Year Cleveland will provide health care services, emergency rental assistance, fatherhood initiatives, breastfeeding supports, pregnancy education courses and other services to help parents and children thrive in their first year and beyond.
While the overall infant mortality rate in Cuyahoga County is decreasing, the racial gap is widening. First Year Cleveland's mission is to reduce racial disparities in infant deaths, eliminate sleep-related deaths and reduce preterm births. Thanks to these leveraged resources, First Year Cleveland will be able to work directly with families living in these three developments.
Infant mortality is defined as the death of a live-born baby before his or her first birthday. In 2016, Ohio's infant mortality rate was 7.4 (per 1,000 live births), which was a slight increase from 2015. This rate has not significantly changed in the last decade, and Ohio's infant mortality rate remains one of the highest in the United States, ranking at eleventh among all states. The Ohio Human Services Data Warehouse also concluded in a report this month that the most common age of people accessing Ohio's homelessness system was infants who had not yet reached their first birthday.
The racial gap in the infant mortality rate also persists in Ohio. Non-Hispanic black women in Ohio have the second highest infant mortality rate in the country, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In OHFA's 2018-2019 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), OHFA incentivized non-senior developments to enter into a partnership with an infant mortality prevention partner to provide education or services to residents of the development or the surrounding neighborhood. The infant mortality prevention partner was required to receive no less than $50,000 in programmatic funding. While OHFA did not directly fund this programming, developments that leveraged resources for these services did receive a competitive advantage in the housing tax credit application process.
In December 2017, OHFA also provided nearly $1 million in funding to CelebrateOne to implement an innovative pilot program to reduce infant mortality in central Ohio. By funding these additional developments and infant mortality programs, OHFA remains committed to preventing and ending infant mortality in Ohio.
For more information on infant mortality in Ohio, refer to OHFA's 2018 Housing Needs Assessment.