PORTLAND - (NewMediaWire) - June 17, 2020 - Portland, Ore. – Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon today announced an investment in Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East to build safe, affordable homes for Oregonians impacted by health and socioeconomic disparities.

Regence’s most recent $75,000 investment, made over the next two years, will support crucial Habitat for Humanity programs:

  • Inspired by the community’s response to Habitat for Humanity’s Safety of Home campaign, Regence will meet an immediate need for affordable homeownership by committing $37,500 to the completion of 42 homes in North Portland. This will provide safe, stable housing for 200 Oregonians.
  • An additional $37,500 will support Habitat’s 10-home community in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland.

This multi-faceted investment reflects Regence’s commitment to address immediate local needs and disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also supporting the long-term recovery and resiliency of local communities.

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity, a global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 U.S. states and in more than 70 countries, has provided homeownership opportunities to communities of color, promoting equity and addressing a legacy of displacement and marginalization. Over the course of their valued partnership, Regence, its employees, and corporate foundation have contributed over $260K and 4,300 hours of volunteer support to Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the gaps and disparities that exist within our health and social care system,” said Peggy Maguire, Regence’s senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and palliative care solutions. “Guided by the core beliefs that health disparities are not inevitable and that access to safe, stable and affordable housing is a key social determinant of health, Regence is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity to improve overall individual, neighborhood and community health.”

A Habitat for Humanity study found that 79% of families experiencing asthma and other housing-related respiratory illnesses reported no longer having symptoms after moving into their new Habitat homes. “Having a safe, healthy home is critical now more than ever,” said Steve Messinetti, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East. “Many families apply to Habitat for Humanity while experiencing unhealthy living conditions. Thanks to the incredible support of partners like Regence, more people will have the opportunity to experience the safety and stability of a healthy home.”

Initial Regence funding will support the development of affordable homes in North Portland. These homes will provide homeownership opportunities for people who have generational ties to historically African American neighborhoods, but have been displaced due to gentrification and systematic racism.

As Oregon’s largest health insurer, Regence is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of its members and the community it serves. To learn more, visit news.regence.com.

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, headquartered in Portland, has been providing health care solutions to Oregonians since 1941. As a tax-paying nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.comfacebook.com/regencebluecrossblueshield, or twitter.com/regenceoregon.

About Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East
Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East believes that everyone deserves a decent, affordable place to live. Habitat homebuyers help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable homeownership, everyone can help people achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves and their families. Learn more at habitatportlandmetro.org.