As part of CVS Health's commitment to address racial inequity and social determinants of health in underserved communities, the company is investing $11.6 million with Boston Financial Investment Management to provide 171 units of much-needed permanent supportive housing in Austin, Texas.
"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 of 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."
The development of Espero Austin at Rutland will help provide housing to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, persons with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities, and youth aging out of foster care, the company said.
CVS Health is working with the Caritas of Austin, The Vecino Group, and Austin Housing Finance Corporation to build the apartment complex, known as Espero Austin at Rutland. The new development, which will be located at 1934 Rutland Drive in Austin, is intended to house 171 people in studio apartments. Other funding partners include the City of Austin and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
"Caritas of Austin is thrilled to partner with CVS Health on this project as we work together to enhance the well-being of more people in Austin and help them reach their full potential," said Jo Kathryn Quinn, president and CEO of Caritas of Austin.
Caritas of Austin will provide evidence-based support to all residents of Espero at no cost to residents. People living at Espero Austin at Rutland will be supported by social service professionals, including peer support specialists who share the life experiences of residents. In addition to this personalized approach, services provided will also include education, employment assistance, food, and connection to mental and physical health resources. Planned amenities include secured entry, fitness center, interior resident courtyard, community room and bicycle parking.
"Our investment in the Texas community will provide safe housing with direct access to care — a commitment that will have a direct impact on the Texas Medicaid community for years to come," said Stephanie Rogers, CEO Aetna Better Health of Texas, a CVS Health company.
As CVS Health works to address social determinants of health in Texas, the company said it also is 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.