The global pandemic has created a lot of trends in multifamily housing, but resident-provided healthcare may be the next big trend. As more multifamily property owners and developers try to meet the growing demands of this sector, some are going the extra mile and providing additional services, including healthcare.
Comunidad Partners, a for-profit but mission-driven investment firm specializing in workforce and affordable housing communities, has launched a free virtual healthcare program for its residents. The virtual program, which builds off existing medical care services offered in a number of the company's communities, is in partnership with an unnamed Fortune 500 telemedical company that can diagnose, prescribe, and offer virtual medical services to all employees and residents within the community.
For many, employment is a prerequisite for healthcare. In 2019, there were 28.9 million nonelderly Americans without healthcare coverage, so having access to free medical care is a huge benefit and incentive for tenants.
Will healthcare be the next big trend in multifamily housing?
There's clear evidence providing additional amenities as part of a residential housing community increases its desirability and helps it compete in the marketplace. Offering services, such as healthcare, particularly telecare, can be a great way to better serve your residents and increase tenant retention. Lower turnover increases returns while also improving the welfare of the community, something particularly important for underserved communities in which many affordable housing projects are being erected.
Shift Capital, a development company working on a new 100-unit affordable housing development in Philadelphia, saw the benefit of offering healthcare services as a part of the housing program. The company is offering a discount prescription and telemedicine service to its residents called Health+.
Affordable housing isn't the only residential housing program taking notice of this. High-end communities are also starting to include clinics as a part of their developments. Developer Related Companies has partnered with concierge medical practice Sollis Health to offer telemed services and on-site COVID-19 testing, and the high-end condo developments at the Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach are offering on-site medical care as a part of their amenities.
However, this amenity is especially beneficial in affordable housing communities. Providing access to healthcare services in an affordable, convenient way isn't just doing good socially but can also improve investors' bottom lines, making it a true win-win scenario.