CVS Health to Invest in affordable housing in Orlando

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture

CVS Health is making a community investment in the city of Orlando.

CVS will invest $8.7 million to help build a 116-unit affordable housing complex in the Mercy Drive neighborhood of Orlando (Florida) and expand its no-cost Project Health program as part of the company’s previously announced nearly $600 million commitment to address racial inequality.

Additionally, the company plans a 2021 expansion to Orlando of its no-cost Private Health preventive screening program, which offers free biometric screenings at CVS Pharmacy locations to help identify chronic conditions before they become life-threatening illnesses. The screenings measure body mass index, blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterol, and can detect early risks for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.  

"Increasing access to housing and services like preventive screenings put people in a better position to take care of their health or manage chronic disease," said David Casey, chief diversity officer, CVS Health. "As part of our commitment to address social justice and racial inequity, we're addressing social determinants of health – like housing and access to health care – at the community level, which is where we can make a meaningful and lasting impact." 

The company will hold the Project Health events at select CVS Pharmacy locations in areas of greater Orlando with higher populations of uninsured and underinsured people, including locations nearby the Mercy Drive neighborhood.

"As we expand Project Health to Orlando in 2021, we anticipate being able to reach thousands of people locally and provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in free medical services in the first year alone,” said  Eileen Howard Boone, senior VP of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, CVS Health

The planned new $24 million Fairlawn Village affordable housing complex will include three buildings, a community center, playgrounds, on-site laundry facilities and onsite management offices. All residents will have access to on-site supportive services including adult literacy, employment assistance and financial management programs. Of the 116 units, 20 will be designated as permanent supportive housing with casework services for people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, people with a disability or youth aging out of foster care.

Data compiled as part of the development plan indicate approximately 83% of Mercy Road area residents identify as African American. Additionally, almost half of the area's households are below the poverty income threshold, with a median household income of $17,846. About 55% of area households pay greater than 30% of their income on housing.