The investment is part of the drugstore chain’s nationwide commitment of nearly $600 million over five years to address issues of racial inequality and social determinants of health in Black communities. The commitment includes an emphasis on increasing access to affordable housing, which is linked to positive health outcomes.

CVS Health announced Wednesday that it will invest $13.7 million to help renovate the Rosewind complex in the South Linden neighborhood, improve the community center, and provide on-site community health programs for residents.


The investment is part of the drugstore chain’s nationwide commitment of nearly $600 million over five years to address issues of racial inequality and social determinants of health in Black communities. The commitment includes an emphasis on increasing access to affordable housing, which is linked to positive health outcomes.


About 95% of the residents at the 230-unit Rosewind complex are Black, and the average household income of residents is less than $17,000. Average life expectancy in South Linden is just under 70 years, seven years less than the average in Franklin County.


"When people have access to high-quality, affordable housing, it puts them in a better position to improve their overall well-being, including taking care of their health or managing a chronic disease," said David Casey, chief diversity officer for CVS Health.


"One aspect of our commitment to address racial inequality is addressing social determinants of health — like housing — at the community level, which is where we can make a meaningful impact."


New community programs that CVS hopes to help sponsor include on-site health screenings, health and wellness programming with Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus, an educational cooking series with nonprofit Local Matters to increase access to fresh foods and teach residents how to make healthy meals, and efforts to promote maternal health. The latter efforts are a response to an infant-mortality rate in South Linden that is 300% higher than elsewhere in the county, data shows.


CVS Health will work with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing on the project.


Rosewind opened in 1998 on the site of the old Windsor Terrace apartment development east of Cleveland Avenue and north of 11th Avenue. Rosewind has a lower-density, with 160 townhouses and 70 single-family houses, creating more of a neighborhood feel.


The CVS contribution will be focused on helping to renovate all 230 units, spending an average of $50,000 per unit. Money also will be spent on significant improvements for the local community center and supporting new community health programs.


The housing authority, which manages Rosewind, plans $250 million in new investments in affordable housing this year.


"Stable housing provides a solid foundation, but people also need access to health care, employment, training and other services to reach their fullest potential," said Charles Hillman, the housing authority’s president and CEO.


"We’re excited to collaborate with CVS Health to provide new opportunities for our residents and revitalize the Linden community," Hillman said.


jwoods@dispatch.com


@Woodsnight