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11/21/2022

CVS Health investing $6.2M in affordable housing in Kansas, $14.3M in Washington

CVS Health is investing $6.2 million to build 36 new affordable housing units in Bel Aire, Kan., and $14.3 million to build 120 affordable housing units in Seattle, Wash.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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CVS Health is investing $6.2 million with Homestead Affordable Housing and WNC to build 36 new affordable housing units in Bel Aire, Kan., as part of the company’s commitment to advancing health equity by addressing social determinants of health at the local level.

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CVS Health breaking ground on affordable housing

“When people have access to high-quality affordable housing and supportive services, they are able to focus on taking care of their mental and physical health,” said Jane Brown, Aetna Better Health of Kansas CEO. “Our investment in Kansas will help improve health outcomes for seniors and provide them a space to feel connected to their community.”

The nine one-story four-plex buildings, called Homestead Senior Residences Bel Aire, will be located at the corner of Oliver Street and E. 53 Street North in Sedgwick County. It will offer a community center and supportive services to residents, including workshops on financial management, identity protection, detailing plans for success in housing and fire prevention. Additionally, HSR residents will benefit from the Beef for Seniors program, where beef from local farms is purchased by banks and community members through donations after the county fair. The beef is then distributed to senior citizen apartment buildings in the area at no cost to residents.

[Read more: CVS Health reports $185M affordable housing investments in 2021]

For the last few years, rural communities in Kansas have been struggling with a lack of affordable housing, especially among the senior population. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, nearly 1 in every 4 low-income renters in Kansas are senior households at or below the poverty guidelines or 30% of the area median income. Sedgwick county has the highest population of seniors aged 55 and older in the state, and its residents are often dual eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid health plans.

CVS Health is working with Homestead Affordable Housing, which for years has worked to develop affordable housing and help rural Kansas communities thrive. Through CVS Health’s investment, Homestead Affordable Housing will build new units with central air conditioning, patios, and 24 units will include an attached garage. Each unit also will include a washer and dryer room, which also is a protective shelter in the event of a national disaster. The community  also will include a garden, fitness center, dog park and on-site management.

“The city of Bel Aire and CVS Health have been excellent to work with in the process of bringing this development to life, and we are extremely excited to serve seniors within our community,” said Thomas Bishop, president and CEO of Homestead Affordable Housing. “All is moving forward and going well, and this groundbreaking marks the first steps in delivering the seniors of Bel Aire their new homes.”

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CVS Health affordable housing

CVS Health also is making a $14.3 million investment with Chief Seattle Club and Raymond James Affordable Housing Investments to build 120 affordable housing units in Seattle, Wash., as part of the company’s commitment to advancing health equity by addressing social determinants of health at the local level.

“When people have access to high-quality affordable housing, it allows them to focus on taking care of their mental and physical health,” said Rafael Gonzalez-Amezcua, chief medical officer of Aetna Better Health of California at Aetna, a CVS Health Company. “By addressing social determinants of health at the local level, we're helping to improve individual and community health outcomes of the American Indian and Alaska Native people.”

[Read more: CVS Health investing $6.5M in Denver’s affordable housing community]

The five-story development called Sacred Medicine House will be located at 14315 Lake City Way NE in King County. It will offer on-site counseling, a healing garden, preventative healthcare services, and will have a community room where residents can engage in traditional healing ceremonies such as drumming, singing, storytelling and talking circles. 

According to the King County Department of Community and Human Services Cross Systems Homelessness Analysis, the number of King County homeless is up nearly 14% since 2020 and 57% remain unsheltered. Additionally, 15% of people experiencing homelessness in King Country identify as American Indian, Alaskan Native or Indigenous, but that group makes up only 1% of King County’s population.

CVS Health is working with the Chief Seattle Club, which for years has worked to increase access to housing and wraparound services to best support the Seattle community. Through CVS Health’s investment, Chief Seattle Club will build 120 new studio units, 88 of which will serve as Permanent Supportive Housing for households experiencing homelessness.

“It’s astonishing how far we’ve come together and where we will be in another year or two,” says Derrick Belgarde, executive director of Chief Seattle Club. “Never have I been as optimistic as I am now about the future of our community.”

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