Affordable patient housing in the Texas Medical Center may fall victim to pandemic

Affordable patient housing in the Texas Medical Center
Affordable patient housing in the Texas Medical Center

HOUSTON – The Texas Medical Center offers some of the best advancements in medicine. So, people come from far and wide for treatments. That can be incredibly expensive on top of an already financially stressful time.

You’re probably most familiar with Ronald McDonald House Charities or maybe Nora’s Home for transplant patients, which helps with the unforeseen cost of housing during treatments.

But, many patients don’t fit the criteria to stay within the housing for patients of specific needs (ie: cancer, transplants). Basically, the options left for other patients are to pay for an apartment or a hotel and it’s not cheap.

“If your treatment is for two months, three months, four months, six months, that just adds to the financial stress of being sick,” said Yannick Thomas, founder of Patient Housing Assistance (PHA).

PHA is a charitable organization aiming to cover the expenses it takes to pay for housing.

Yannick said they used to give patients $500-$2,500 a month to help offset the cost.

But, like many charities, they had to cancel all fundraising in 2020 and their bank account is running out of money.

“It’s overwhelming. I mean we’ve had people just fall out crying. You know, it’s, ‘I wouldn’t know what to do, or you know, we wouldn’t have had a place to go’ and what people tend to forget is that, you know, cancer research is huge. Medical advancements are huge but if people can’t come to Houston and take advantage of those advances, you know, we’re doing everybody a disservice,” Thomas said.