WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced it will invest $25 million with R4 Capital to build 224 affordable housing units for families and seniors in Louisiana. This investment is part of the company’s commitment to address racial inequity and social determinants of health in underserved communities.
“When people have access to high-quality, affordable housing, it puts them in a better position to take care of their health and manage chronic disease,” said David Casey, SVP and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. “As part of our commitment to address social justice and racial inequity, we're addressing social determinants of health at the community level, which is where we can make a meaningful and lasting impact.”
According to a recent report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition in July, rent is out of reach for most low-wage workers in every state.
CVS Health is working with Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) and its partner Alembic Community Development to build a 192-unit affordable housing development located at 1300 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and 1801 Thalia Street in New Orleans. GCHP is a regional real estate development company based in New Orleans that focuses on producing affordable and mixed-income communities and developing complementary commercial and community space. The new development in Central City New Orleans will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom housing units at a reduced rent to families and seniors with demonstrated need. All residents will have access to onsite supportive services, including a Federally Qualified Health Center to help increase access to primary care and behavioral health.
“We are grateful for the support of CVS Health and Aetna,” said Kathy Laborde, GCHP President and CEO. “Many organizations recognize the impact that quality affordable housing and access to health care have on someone’s health and wellbeing, but it takes the financial investment of partners like CVS Health and Aetna to help provide those services to communities in need.”
In addition to the New Orleans investment, CVS Health will work with GCHP to build a new 32-unit development, Country Ridge Estates in Opelousas. The new apartments will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at a reduced rate, and eight units will be set aside for single-parent families, and two units will be available for families experiencing homelessness.
“Our investment in the Louisiana community will provide safe housing with direct access to care — a commitment that will have a direct impact on the Louisiana Medicaid community for years to come,” said Richard Born, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Louisiana.
CVS Health will also offer its Project Health no-cost biometric screening program to the Louisiana community next year. Project Health offers free biometric screenings to help identify chronic conditions before they become life-threatening illnesses. Valued at over $100, these no-cost screenings measure body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterol. The screenings can detect early risks for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
As CVS Health works to address social determinants of health in Louisiana, the company is also exploring opportunities to expand its national workforce initiatives program in New Orleans to help break the cycle of poverty by providing employment services and training to the community.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is the leading health solutions company, delivering care in ways no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and our nearly 300,000 dedicated colleagues – including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications, or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Learn more at www.cvshealth.com.