WASHINGTON, DC - CVS Health announced it will invest $9.2 million with WNC & Associates, Inc. to provide 41 units of much-needed affordable housing for families and individuals in Washington, D.C. This investment is part of CVS Health'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, Senior Vice President 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 the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Washington, D.C. has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, behind only Mississippi, Louisiana, and New Mexico. At 18.6%, it is significantly higher than the national average of 12.7%.
CVS Health is working with The NHP Foundation ("NHPF") and Legacy Real Estate Development to build the 41-unit affordable housing development which will be located at 17 Mississippi Avenue in the Congress Heights area in DC's Ward 8. Other funding partners include District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency, Citi Community Capital, and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development's Housing Production Trust Fund.
"The resources brought together by this partnership ensure that residents at 17 Mississippi will enjoy new rental housing and amenities in a transforming affordable neighborhood," said Tim Pryor, Vice President, Acquisitions, NHPF. "We are grateful to the funders for enabling this important construction."
The new development, which is called 17 Mississippi Apartments, will offer a mix of studios, one bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments to families and individuals with demonstrated need. Nine of the 41 units will provide permanent supportive housing for people who are experiencing homelessness or are in need of mental health support. Another nine units will have preference for income-qualified artists. Planned amenities include on–site management, a community room, artist studio and bicycle storage. All units are reserved for residents who earn at or below 50% of Area Median Income.
Community Connections, an experienced non-profit mental health agency, will provide residents with case management support, including life skills, counseling and homeless services, recovery and treatment programs, family and youth services and employment resources. The community is under construction with expected completion in mid-2023.
"Our investment in the D.C. community will provide safe housing with direct access to care — a commitment that will have a direct impact on the local community for years to come," said Mike Bucci, President, Capitol Market, Aetna, a CVS Health company.
As CVS Health works to address social determinants of health in Washington, D.C., the company is also exploring opportunities to expand its national workforce initiatives program in the area to help break the cycle of poverty by providing employment services and training to the community.