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$35 million for at least 1,400 supportive housing units across NYS


Mon, Dec 20th 2021 02:00 pm

Supportive housing units will help veterans, victims of domestic violence, frail or disabled senior citizens & other vulnerable populations

√ Sixth round of Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative Awards Includes 192 awards to housing providers in every region of state

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced 192 conditional awards totaling $35 million to housing agencies in every region across New York to provide support services and operating funding for at least 1,400 units of supportive housing for homeless persons with special needs, conditions or other challenges.

This is the sixth funding round of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI), which brings together eight state agencies to help provide funding for supportive housing for vulnerable populations, including veterans, victims of domestic violence, frail or disabled senior citizens, young adults with histories of incarceration, homelessness or foster care, chronically homeless individuals and families, as well as individuals with health, mental health and/or substance use disorders.

"The continued spread of housing insecurity has been one of the pandemic's most damaging impacts, and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure we provide the resources vulnerable New Yorkers need to not only get through these difficult times, but also build a fulfilling life," Hochul said. "Supportive housing projects target the root causes of homelessness by coupling affordable housing with critical supportive services and, through investments like this, we can continue with these projects in every corner of the state to ensure no New Yorker is left behind."

The conditional awards are for service and operating funding needed to operate permanent supportive housing units. The awards will allow applicants to secure separate capital funding to finance the development and construction of their housing project.

Awards may be used to provide rental assistance and services to eligible target populations to ensure their housing stability, including but not limited to:

√ Primary and behavioral health services;

√ Employment and vocational training and/or assistance;

√ Educational assistance, including GED support;

√ Parenting skills development and support;

√ Child care assistance;

√ Counseling and crisis intervention;

√ Children's services, including educational advocacy, support and counseling; and

√ Services or staff to identify and locate eligible individuals that need housing.

Awardees in Western New York include:

√ Community Services For Every1 Inc.

√ The Salvation Army (two awards)

√ BestSelf Behavioral Health Inc. (four awards)

√ People Inc.

√ DePaul Community Services Inc. (three awards)

√ Southern Tier Environments For Living Inc.

√ Hope of Buffalo Inc.

√ Young Women's Christian Association of the Niagara Frontier Inc.

√ East House Corp.

√ Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers Inc. (two awards)

√ Restoration Society Inc.

√ People Inc.

√ Transitional Services Inc.

√ Cattaraugus Community Action Inc.

√ Cazenovia Recovery Systems Inc.

√ Soldier On Inc.

√ Southern Tier Environments For Living Inc.

The ESSHI interagency workgroup, which reviews applications for funding, includes representatives from the Office of Mental Health (OMH); the Department of Health (DOH), including the AIDS Institute; New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR); the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS); the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS); the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV); the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA); and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "Gov. Hochul's commitment to supportive housing is providing safe and stable homes with supportive services for people living with mental illness and other challenges. These awards will give individuals and families the opportunity to live independently and successfully in their own communities, which is a critical step on the road to recovery. OMH is proud to be a part of the ESSHI program and to give hope to New Yorkers in every region of the state."

OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "Stable housing is fundamental to the success of young adults, whether they are aging out of the foster care system, previously homeless or returning to the community following a juvenile justice placement. Safe and secure housing offers the necessary stability that allows young people the freedom to focus on pursuing an education, employment or a vocational opportunity in support of building a bright future."

OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, "Supportive services are such a critical component of our approach to ending homelessness and ensuring all New Yorkers have access to stable housing. By providing the most vulnerable among us with these services, we can help them address the underlying conditions that may have contributed to their housing insecurity and help them to live safely in an independent setting. I applaud Gov. Hochul for strongly supporting the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and for being a relentless advocate for those who have experienced homelessness"

OPDV Executive Director Kelli Owens said, "Without safe and affordable housing, many victims of domestic violence have to the make the impossible choice to either stay with their abusive partner or face homelessness. As New York state transforms systems to be more survivor-centered, trauma-informed and culturally responsive, we are reframing services and prioritizing permanent housing solutions, which stabilize families impacted by the many forms of abuse. We thank Gov. Hochul for her steadfast commitment to preventing domestic violence, and for her leadership on ensuring that survivors have the supports they need."

OPWDD Acting Commissioner Kerri Neifeld said, "Thanks to Gov. Hochul, and the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, we're able to develop and support community-based, integrated housing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. The same way that a new housing project can transform neighborhoods and communities, it can also transform a person's life – giving them a home and a foundation on which to build their future. An ample supply of affordable, supportive housing is vital to ensuring the independence and well-being of people with developmental disabilities who want to be an active part of their communities."

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative provides funding for critically needed services that help individuals and families achieve housing security, financial stability and better health outcomes. This successful program complements HCR's efforts to build and preserve integrated and inclusive affordable housing developments across the state. Thanks to the ESSHI round 6 awards, nearly 8,000 New Yorkers will have homes to call their own, and access to life-saving and essential care."

OASAS Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said, "I commend this collaborative effort among state agencies to ensure we provide safe and permanent supportive housing for our most vulnerable populations. These developments are an essential part of OASAS' continuum of care, which enables us to support individuals live healthy and productive lives."

Acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "The homelessness crisis has far-reaching public health implications. People who are unhoused lack a key resource for a healthy life. New York's agencies are working together to provide safe and affordable housing that will result in improved health benefits statewide."

Hochul’s team said, “New York state is a national leader in the development and ongoing support of housing for families and individuals living with mental illness and other special needs. Supportive housing has been shown to provide stability, safety and the opportunity for individuals and families to live in their own homes and communities as they make their way on the road to recovery. Housing with support services also reduces the need for costly emergency department visits and inpatient hospital stays.”

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