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“Housing and Community Benefit: What Counts?” Offers Guidance to Tax-Exempt Hospitals on Housing-related Activities as Community Benefit

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For Immediate Release: January 31, 2018
Contacts:
Bill Wright  | 202.403.8018
John Keaten |
212.784.5701
bwright@enterprisecommunity.org                       
jkeaten@groupgordon.com

COLUMBIA, Md. | JANUARY 31, 2018 – A new resource is now available to tax-exempt hospitals looking for guidance on housing-related activities that they can report as community benefit to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): “Housing and Community Benefit: What Counts?” Developed by Enterprise Community Partners Inc. (Enterprise) and the Catholic Health Association, the paper explores the latest instructions and Executive Order Updates from the IRS relating to Part I of IRS Form 990 Schedule H, where hospitals report community benefit.

To expand on the paper, Enterprise and the Catholic Health Association will host a Housing and Community Benefit webinar on February 8th from 1 to 2 pm EST. The webinar will feature Julie Trocchio, senior director, the Catholic Health Association, and Mary Ayala, program officer, Enterprise Community Partners, who will discuss the evidence base connecting housing-related activities to health and dig into the guidance provided to hospitals in the paper.

“Recognizing the linkage between homes and health, hospitals and health systems are increasingly seeking to improve community health through housing-related activities,” said Laurel Blatchford, senior vice president for Solutions and chief program officer at Enterprise. “Our paper is a useful tool to help them improve health through housing and the latest example of Enterprise’s work to bring health into the national housing conversation and housing into the national health conversation.”

Housing and Community Benefit: What Counts?” details the requirements for housing-related activities to qualify as a reportable community benefit, including that it must primarily address an identified community health need to qualify as a reportable community benefit and that the purpose of the activity should be to improve health, providing examples of what should and should not be included when reporting to the IRS.

The goal of the paper is to both provide clarification to hospitals about what can and cannot qualify as community benefit based on what they are already doing related to housing, while also inspiring new ideas of housing-based activities that are known to promote health. Lastly, the report highlights that although some housing-related activities do not meet community benefit requirements, such as investing in affordable housing when a return is anticipated, actions like this are critical to improving the health of residents living in underserved communities and can be highlighted in other sections of the IRS Form 990 as an activity that promotes the health of the community.

The recommendations in this paper were developed by Enterprise and the Catholic Health Association and they do not represent tax or legal advice. Health care organizations should consult the most recent guidance from their state and the IRS regarding required reporting of community benefit information.

 Enterprise is a proven and powerful nonprofit that improves communities and people’s lives by making well-designed homes affordable. We bring together the nationwide know-how, partners, policy leadership and investments to multiply the impact of local affordable housing development. Over 35 years, Enterprise has created nearly 470,000 homes, invested $28.9 billion and touched millions of lives. Join us at www.EnterpriseCommunity.org.

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