Investment in South Linden’s Rosewind community kicks-off the company’s nearly $600 million commitment to address racial inequality
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it will invest $13.7 million to help renovate 230 low-income housing units at the Rosewind apartments in Columbus, Ohio. These funds will also be used to make significant improvements to the local community center and support new community programs in the area.
The investment kicks-off the company’s commitment of nearly $600 million over five years to address racial inequality and social determinants of health in Black communities. This commitment includes an emphasis on increasing access to affordable housing, which is inextricably linked to health.
“When people have access to high-quality, affordable housing, it puts them in a better position to improve their overall wellbeing, including taking care of their health or managing a chronic disease,” said David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. “One aspect of our commitment to address racial inequality is addressing social determinants of health – like housing – at the community level, which is where we can make a meaningful impact.”
CVS Health will work with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing on the project. Through CVS Health’s investment, CMHA will spend $50,000 per unit in much-needed rehab and repairs.
“The redevelopment of Rosewind is part of CMHA’s $250 million investment in affordable housing in 2020,” said CMHA President and CEO Charles Hillman. “Stable housing provides a solid foundation, but people also need access to health care, employment, training and other services to reach their fullest potential. We’re excited to collaborate with CVS Health to provide new opportunities for our residents and revitalize the Linden community.”
Within the Rosewind complex in the South Linden neighborhood of Columbus, 95% of residents are Black and have an average annual household income of less than $17,000. Average life expectancy in South Linden is just under 70 years – more than seven years shorter than the average in all of Franklin County, which includes Columbus and certain neighboring communities.
“Housing and health care go hand-in-hand, and health outcomes are impacted by housing affordability and stability,” said Peg Moertl, President and CEO, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. “We are pleased to be working with CVS Health and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority to provide quality housing, economic support, and educational training opportunities to those families and individuals facing challenges in the Linden community.”
The renovations, as well as new community programming funded by CVS Health, will provide comprehensive local support to residents, including the following new on-site programs:
Health and wellness programming through CMHA and the Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus to provide individuals with the best health care experience possible on-site;
On-site health screenings and COVID-19 testing to bring preventative health care services directly to the community, especially as the pandemic continues to expose health disparities among the Black population;
An educational cooking series with the nonprofit organization Local Matters, to increase access to fresh, nutritious foods and teach residents how to make healthy and tasty meals, which will improve their overall health outcomes;
Maternal programs – with 8.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in Franklin County and 25.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in South Linden, there will be a new program to support maternal health at Rosewind that will equip new and pregnant mothers with parenting resources;
Community programs where individuals will have the opportunity to have an open dialogue about the root causes of systemic inequalities and barriers.
CVS Health will also establish a new program at Rosewind as part of its ongoing workforce initiatives to provide employment services and training to the Rosewind community, focused on empowerment and building local relationships that will help community members achieve meaningful employment opportunities.
"Finding ways to encourage housing that is affordable to everyone is not just the right thing to do," said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. "It helps the region remain competitive in attracting and retaining businesses."
Since 1997, CVS Health and Aetna, a CVS Health company, have invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing and community initiatives. In 2019, the company invested $67 million in affordable housing across the country, and the company plans to exceed that amount over each of the next five years to help address housing insecurities and promote community health improvement in Black communities.
About CVS Health
CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We’re evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that’s in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings – from HealthHUB® locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions – are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we’re transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.