Since 1997, CVS Health and its subsidiary Aetna have invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing and other social needs.
Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS Health invested $67 million in affordable housing last year and plans to invest $75 million in affordable housing this year, the company announced today.
Housing is considered as one of the leading social determinants of health (SDOH), along with other social needs such as transportation and food security. By making direct investments in initiatives designed to address SDOH and working with community partners, healthcare organizations can help their patients in profound ways beyond the traditional provision of medical services.
Last year, CVS Health supported affordable housing projects in 24 cities in California, Georgia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oregon and Texas, creating more than 2,200 affordable homes often with support services, the company reported. This year, CVS Health's plans to invest in affordable housing include $25 million in Ohio.
"Providing affordable housing options to people who are facing significant challenges can be their first step on a path to better health. However, we understand that more support is often needed—that is why we work with community organizations to provide access to services such as independent living skills, cooking and nutrition, financial literacy, health information classes, resident outreach and engagement, client-centered treatment plans, and social support," Karen Lynch, executive vice president of CVS Health and president of the company's Aetna Business Unit, said in a prepared statement.
CVS Health and healthcare insurer Aetna merged in 2018. Since 1997, CVS Health and Aetna have invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing and other social needs. The two-decade effort has supported the construction or renovation of more than 93,000 affordable rental units, the company reported.
Affordable housing investments in The Golden State
California has been a primary focus of CVS Health's and Aetna's affordable housing efforts, Kristen Miranda, California market president for Aetna, said in a prepared statement.
"We have made more than $160 million of affordable housing investments in California over the past 20 years, including nearly $50 million in the past two years alone. These investments are helping to address the unique needs of residents in California, helping to improve health at both the individual and community level," Miranda said.
The investments in California affordable housing include four recent projects, the company reported:
- This month, CVS Health is working in partnership with CREA LLC to close an $8.1 million deal to finance development of 85 affordable housing units. The project is in collaboration with East LA Community Corporation and New Directions for Veterans.
- On Feb. 14, there will be a grand opening of Sequoia Commons in Goshen, California. The 66-unit low-income community received funding from CVS Health, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Red Stone Equity Partners and Pacific Western Bank.
- In December 2019, CVS closed on a $25 million commitment to an investment fund that will build or rehabilitate more than 500 affordable housing units in five California cities.
- In November 2019, there was a grand opening of Bishop Street Studios in San Luis Obispo, California. The 33 permanent supportive housing units were established through the renovation of an abandoned orphanage and were funded by CVS Health, the Transitions-Mental Health Association, and the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo. The affordable housing units are for individuals with mental health issues.
Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care editor at HealthLeaders.
CVS Health plans to invest $75 million in affordable housing this year.
Affordable housing can be the "first step on a path to better health," company executive says.
Last year, CVS Health supported affordable housing projects in California, Georgia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oregon and Texas.