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CVS addresses affordable housing in California

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health has surpassed $200 million in affordable housing investments in California as part of an ongoing commitment to address housing insecurity throughout the country. Over the past years, the company and its subsidiaries have invested in over 130 affordable housing communities across California, facilitating the construction or rehabilitation of more than 12,500 affordable homes.

This milestone was achieved with CVS Health’s recent closing of a $12.1 million investment to help finance LINC Housing’s new development in Los Angeles County’s Avocado Heights. Equa (named for LINC Housing’s dedication to equality, as well as the neighborhood’s equestrian history) will provide 80 homes for families with low incomes and individuals who have experienced homelessness. The development will feature a community room, computer room, private offices for supportive services staff, an after-school program room, and community kitchen. LINC Housing will provide a wide range of social and supportive services to help residents maintain housing stability.

The most recent project was part of more than $43 million in affordable housing investments made by CVS Health in California over the past year, which will lead to the construction or rehabilitation of more than 850 affordable homes in 10 cities across the state. 265 are dedicated to housing seniors, and close to 100 are reserved specifically for veterans and their families. More than 350 consist of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) constructed to provide stable homes for people who may be experiencing homelessness, affected by chronic illness, victims of domestic violence, in need of behavioral health and addiction treatment. In addition to affordable housing, these residents will also receive access to a wide range of services to stabilize and improve their health including social, behavioral health and addiction recovery services.

“Our affordable housing investment strategy remains focused on funding the development of permanent housing where it is needed most,” said Kristen Miranda, Senior Vice President of Markets for Aetna, a CVS Health company. “Our investments in California and collaboration with regional affordable housing organizations over the past year have enabled us to provide quality housing, economic support, and educational training opportunities that are based on the unique needs of the state’s residents.”

Tackling Housing Insecurity in the Bay State

California has been a key focus of CVS Health’s recent investment strategy due the state’s extended shortage of affordable housing for low-income families and individuals, which has been exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to making housing investments, CVS Health is working with developers and community-based organizations to expand the reach of its COVID vaccine, Project Health , Workforce Initiatives and HealthHUB offerings, among other programs and services, to improve health outcomes and further promote housing stability. More affordable housing investments CVS Health made in California during the past year in collaboration with housing groups include:

  • $8.1 million in Rosa de Castilla, for 85 new PSH homes in Los Angeles’ Eastside, by East LA Community Corporation (ELACC) and New Directions for Veterans (New Directions). 63 homes are reserved for people experiencing homelessness, 44 specifically for veterans. ELACC and New Directions will provide residents access to services such as after school tutoring, employment services, substance use treatment, legal assistance, peer support, advocacy and medication management.
  • $2.1 million investment in the Villages at Broadway, the Fresno Housing Authority’s (FHA) substantial rehab of a vacant motel property to provide 26 new PSH homes for those experiencing homelessness in west Fresno. In 2019, CVS Health invested $4.6 million in a similar FHA development known as the Villages at Paragon. Residents at both communities will be receive extensive supportive services provided by FHA and the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health.
  • $2 million in North Harbor Village by Jamboree Housing Corp. (JHC) who will transform an existing motel in Santa Ana into 89 new PSH homes for formerly homeless veterans and those living with a mental health diagnosis. Resident services will be provided by Housing with Heart, JHC’s in-house service provider. JHC recently completed Heroes Landing, a similar sized PSH community exclusively for Veteran’s experiencing homelessness and estimates the new homes will save Orange County $3.9 million per year in emergency services, unnecessary hospitalizations and other related expenses annually.
  • $2.4 million investment in The Lake House by Community Development Partners will provide 63 PSH for the formerly homeless and offer supportive services in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was estimated in the 2019 Point-in-Time Count that over 1,875 individuals were homeless in Westlake.
  • $3.7 million toward NOVA, a PSH community with 56 homes in Oakland, by Affirmed Housing to provide new homes to formerly homeless individuals and families earning 20% (or less) of the area median income. Extensive on-site services will be provided by Life Long Medical Care.

CVS Health’s efforts to address housing insecurity are a core part of Destination: Health, a series of company programs focused on helping people improve their health outside of a clinical setting. CVS Health will announce additional affordable housing initiatives throughout 2021.