Housing Authority of the City of Austin and CommUnityCare and Open New Chalmers Courts Health Center in East Austin

Date Published: 
September 13th, 2023

From the Housing Authority of the City of Austin's press release:

The Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) and CommUnityCare Health Centers celebrated the grand opening of the CommUnityCare Chalmers Courts Health Center, a federally designated community health center adjacent to Pathways at Chalmers Courts East apartment community, a recently redeveloped HACA property serving low-income families in East Austin.

The Chalmers Courts Health Center will be critical to providing health and wellness services for residents and the community. The 5,000-square-foot health center offers family medicine, dental, behavioral health, labs, pharmacy services, care coordination, and management.

Built in 1939, Chalmers Courts was one of the earliest public housing projects created under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937. In 2022, HACA redeveloped Pathways at Chalmers Courts East as the second phase of a three-stage renovation (including Chalmers Courts West and South) to expand to 398 deeply affordable housing units and offer valuable support services for low-income families.

“Today’s opening of the Chalmers Courts Health Center marks an exciting milestone for the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, CommUnityCare, Central Health, and the residents of Chalmers Courts,” said HACA President and CEO Michael Gerber.

According to a 2018 HACA Community Health Needs Assessment, 42% of the 150 existing Chalmers residents surveyed said that they visited an emergency room in the prior year, 73% had one or more chronic diseases, 43% had difficulty accessing dental services, and 88% indicated that they would likely use on-site primary care services.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony included remarks from Austin City Mayor Kirk Watson, Austin City Council Member Jose Velasquez, U.S. Department of HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Monocchio, and CommUnityCare Chief Executive Officer Jaeson Fournier.

“Too many low-income and vulnerable people in Austin–especially in communities of color--have lacked access to health care resources. The Chalmers Center represents a major step forward for our residents and the surrounding community to achieve a healthier, happier, and more independent quality of life,” Gerber said.

“The rising costs of living in East Austin has forced many of our low-income and minority patients to leave a community they have called home for years,” said CommUnityCare Chief Executive Officer Jaeson Fournier. “Through this partnership with HACA, CommUnityCare is bringing its high quality and affordable primary care services just a few steps away from the doors of Chalmer’s residence. And thanks to support from Central Health and this innovative partnership, underserved East siders will have access to a medical home in the heart of their community for years to come.”

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