Local CVS/pharmacy Employees Eligible for Down Payment Assistance and Home-Buying Counseling
(Chicago) … At a Charter One Workforce Housing Initiative convening in Olympia Fields, to promote ways local employers can contribute to stable homeownership in the south suburbs, CVS Caremark, the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States, today announced the expansion of its employee homeownership program, Prescriptions for Homeownership, to the Chicago area.
Starting today, CVS Caremark employees in the south suburban region will be eligible to receive down payment assistance to purchase homes near their work locations, reducing their commuting time and expenses. The program provides CVS Caremark associates with forgivable loans toward down payments and closing costs. CVS Caremark also is partnering with Diversity, Inc., and the Spanish Coalition for Housing to provide participants with free, pre-purchase home-ownership counseling, which has been shown to reduce the risk of foreclosure. These partners also will help eligible CVS/pharmacy employees determine if they qualify for additional housing assistance from their community, county, and/or Illinois.
“We are excited about this opportunity to help our colleagues in the Chicago area take their first big step toward homeownership and to help them learn how to navigate the real-estate market and secure dependable financing in this difficult economy," said Steve Wing, director of workforce initiatives, CVS Caremark. "Our local CVS/pharmacy teams work hard to deliver great service to their customers every day. This is one way we can support them as they grow their careers with CVS Caremark while also providing support to local Chicagoland communities by strengthening and expanding home ownership. With great local partners like the Charter One Workforce Housing Initiative, Diversity, Inc., and the Spanish Coalition for Housing contributing to this effort, we are confident this program will match the success we have seen elsewhere in the country.”
CVS Caremark launched Prescriptions for Homeownership in Washington, D.C. in 2005 and in Los Angeles in 2007. To date, the program has helped CVS Caremark employees purchase more than 40 homes in Washington, D.C., and more than 60 homes in Los Angeles. The program is available to eligible CVS/pharmacy associates, pharmacy technicians, pharmacists and store managers.
“The goal of the Charter One Workforce Housing Initiative is to assist local communities and employers in tapping new resources to develop solutions to help their workers afford homes in the communities in which they work every day,” said Scott C. Swanson, president, Charter One, Illinois. “Charter One knows how valuable homeownership is to families and communities, and we are proud to support this important initiative in conjunction with our own homeownership program that has provided assistance to Chicago-area employees since 2004.”
South suburban partners in the Charter One Workforce Housing Initiative include South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and their Housing Collaborative, Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, and Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). At the event, the group discussed employer-assisted housing and other ways employers can contribute to local housing market recovery and south suburban development in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. South Cook County suburbs experienced more foreclosure filings in 2008 and 2009 than any other sub-region in the six-county metropolitan Chicago area.
“Even as employers are stepping up to support stable homeowners in the south suburbs, local municipalities are working across borders on coordinated redevelopment plans,” said Ed Paesel, executive director, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association. “Together, these public and private investments and partnerships will revitalize our communities.”
MPC has been helping Illinois employers develop EAH programs since 2000; today, more than 70 Chicago-area employers have “signed on“ to offer EAH, and more than 2,000 Illinois workers have purchased homes through the program.
“Today’s tough housing market underscores the value of the basic Employer-Assisted Housing model that CVS Caremark has embraced,” said Robin Snyderman, vice president for community development, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). “We applaud CVS Caremark for building on this model to create an innovative program that promotes workforce stability, reduces commutes, and encourages neighborhood reinvestment, and we hope it will inspire other employers to support homeownership in the south suburbs.”
The Charter One Workforce Housing initiative was launched in 2007 as a partnership between the Charter One Foundation and MPC. North and Northwest suburban communities that have participated in the program since inception include Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Highland Park, Highwood, Lake Forest, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Palatine and Rolling Meadows.
In Chicago, other employers offering EAH programs include Robinson Engineering, St. James Hospital and Health Centers, Village of South Holland, Chicago Public Schools, Rush University Medical Center, and University of Chicago. MPC helps employers design customized EAH programs in Illinois and nationwide, and provides program evaluation.
For more information about Employer Assisted Housing, contact Mandy Burrell Booth, MPC assistant communications director, at 312.863.6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Lillie Sellers, MPC EAH consultant, at 312.863.6005 or email@example.com. For specific questions about CVS Caremark’s Chicago-area EAH program, contact Sara Steindorf at 617.520.7259 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the Charter One Workforce Housing Initiative, contact Mark Guess, Charter One Vice President and Manager of Public Relations, at 312.777.3479 or email@example.com.
About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. Through its integrated offerings across the entire spectrum of pharmacy care, the company is uniquely positioned to provide greater access, to engage plan members in behaviors that improve their health, and to lower overall health care costs for health plans, plan sponsors and their members. CVS Caremark is a market leader in mail order pharmacy, retail pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, and retail clinics, and is a leading provider of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As one of the country's largest pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), the company provides access to a network of more than 64,000 pharmacies, including approximately 7,000 CVS/pharmacy(R) stores that provide unparalleled service and capabilities. CVS Caremark’s clinical expertise includes one of the industry's most comprehensive disease management programs. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Company's Web site at http://info.cvscaremark.com/.