Innovative Stable Housing Initiative


The Innovative Stable Housing Initiative (ISHI) is a pilot project funded by Boston Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital as part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Determination of Need Community Health Initiative. With a combined investment of almost $3 million dollars over three years, ISHI’s goal is to identify, assess, and fund strategic approaches to increase housing stability for our most vulnerable populations.


The Problem:

Skyrocketing rents, high cost of living, and increased construction of luxury apartments are just a few of the reasons Boston is one of the most expensive cities in which to live in the U.S. Redlining, exclusionary zoning, racial and ethnic segregation, and housing and mortgage discrimination have historically negatively impacted People of Color.

The housing instability created by these conditions is associated with poor health, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and obesity as well as increased anxiety, depression, and psychological distress.


Stable housing is an essential component of good health because when families live in a safe, affordable home and community, they can prioritize their health and personal well-being.


ISHI Goals are to:

Identify policy, systems, population, and place-based approaches that address displacement and increase housing stability


Goal 1

Identify policy, systems, population, and place-based approaches that address displacement and increase housing stability.


Goal 2

Fund these approaches through an inclusive, participatory grantmaking process where community voice and power are centered.


We ENVISION a Greater Boston where long-term, affordable, quality housing is a human right, universally available, and accessible to all, and where those who have been most impacted by inequitable and oppressive systems are liberated and reaching higher levels of economic sufficiency and autonomy.


We acknowledge and value:

  • Racial and Ethnic Equity as a mechanism of justice and opportunity for People of Color, indigenous communities, and immigrants who have historically, systematically, and intentionally been excluded from systems due to racism, classism, and white privilege;

  • Galvanizing the Power of Communities, and honoring the voice, shared history, lived experiences, and wisdom of community members;

  • Meaningful and Trustworthy Collaboration that respects and recognizes differences, leverages expertise, and is accountable to work towards a shared objective, measurable outcomes, and collective action;

  • Flexibility between innovation and proven solutions, short and long-term investments, grassroots and larger community-based organizations, capacity building and project-based initiatives, as opportunities to invest in real systems change;

  • Working in Solidarity, side by side with community members most impacted by displacement and systemic inequity, and to use the collective power and privilege in our networks to create lasting Impact.