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Business Observer Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 3 days ago

Health care giant invests nearly $8M in affordable housing project

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CVS Health to work with Tampa affordable housing developer and nonprofit on 61-unit development
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

TAMPA — CVS Health is investing in an affordable housing project in Tampa.

The health care giant announced it is putting $7.7 million toward a 61-unit complex on North 12th Street, just north of E. Fletcher Avenue. The money will be invested with the Raymond James Tax Credits Funds, according to a statement. 

The development, Uptown Sky, will include two- and three-bedroom units at reduced rents for families who can show a financial need. In addition to the residences, the development will include a neighborhood center offering services like computer and workforce training and classroom space for dance, art, yoga and other classes that "encourage healthy habits."

CVS is working with Blue Sky Communities, an affordable housing developer in Tampa, and the nonprofit University Area Community Development Corporation, on the project.

Shawn Wilson, president of Blue Sky, says in a statement announcing the investment, that CVS’s money “provides a vital link between big business and urban redevelopment.”

“Many organizations recognize the impact that quality affordable housing and access to health care have on someone’s health and well-being, but it takes the financial commitment…to help provide those services to communities in need.”

CVS Health, which owns the pharmacy chain as well as the insurance company Aetna, says it’s investing as part of a companywide “commitment to address racial inequity and social determinants of health in underserved communities.”

The Rhode Island-based company announced last year that it would spend $600 million over five years on programs to address inequality, including investing in workforce initiatives and access to affordable housing. 

CVS quotes U.S. Census data that shows 75% of people living near the project are Black or Latino and 60% live below the poverty line.

“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,” David Casey, CVS Health’s senior vice president and chief diversity officer, says in the statement.

The company did not release a timeline detailing when construction will begin and when residents will be able to move in.

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