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NYS: $30 million awarded for supportive housing


Fri, Feb 2nd 2024 05:05 pm

Awards fund services for veterans, individuals with serious mental illness or substance use disorder, domestic violence survivors, and older adults with disabilities

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $30 million in supportive housing funding to serve older adults, survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, veterans and chronically homeless families, and individuals with a mental illness or substance use disorder.

Administered by the State Office of Mental Health, the eighth round of funding through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative resulted in 122 awards, which will provide conditional funding for services and operating expenses for up to 4,839 units of supportive housing.

“Supportive housing plays a critical role in our efforts to strengthen New York’s mental health care system and ensure all New Yorkers can live successfully within their community,” Hochul said. “The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative provides the funding needed to provide the services vulnerable populations can rely on to live safely in independent settings.”

Since its inception, the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative has provided operating funding for more than 8,400 units serving vulnerable populations. View a full list of awards from the eighth round.

Hochul’s team said, “This initiative provides operating funding for supportive service providers serving homeless veterans and their families; survivors of domestic and gender-based violence; older adults who are disabled or frail; young adults with a history of incarceration, homelessness or foster care; chronically homeless individuals and families; individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities; individuals reentering the community from prison; and those living with HIV or AIDS, serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders.”

The state Office of Mental Health serves as the lead procurement agency for the funding, which is dispersed by an interagency workgroup of eight state agencies serving vulnerable New Yorkers.

Hochul’s team said, “Funding may be used for rental assistance and services to eligible target populations to ensure their housing stability. Permissible uses include rental subsidies and other occupancy costs; services or staff to identify and locate eligible individuals that need housing; primary and behavioral health services; employment and vocational training; educational assistance, parenting skills development and support; child care assistance counseling and crisis intervention; children’s services, including educational advocacy, support and counseling; and costs associated with services that help individuals and families remain stably housed.

“Projects may receive up to $25,000 per unit per year for service and operating funding needed to operate permanent supportive housing units.

“Awards are conditional and are contingent on a project securing capital funding for new construction, the adaptive reuse of non-residential property, or the rehabilitation of unregulated residential property to create integrated affordable supportive housing.

“Research has shown that permanent supportive housing reduces the demand for shelters, hospital beds, emergency rooms, prisons and jails, in addition to having a positive effect on employment, school attendance, and mental and physical wellbeing. Supportive housing projects can also positively impact neighborhoods through new construction or by rehabilitating existing buildings.

“The initiative complements Hochul’s landmark $1 billion multiyear plan to strengthen the state’s mental health care system and drastically reduce the number of individuals with unmet mental health needs throughout the state. Adopted as part of the fiscal year 2024 budget, the plan also includes funding for 3,500 new residential units for New Yorkers struggling with mental illness, dramatically expands outpatient services, and closes gaps in insurance coverage for behavioral health services, prohibiting carriers from denying access to medically necessary, high-need, acute and crisis mental health services for both adults and children.”

Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Gov. Hochul has long been an advocate for supportive housing and understands the need to establish more capacity throughout the state. Her commitment has helped thousands of individuals and families to receive the services they need while living in their own homes. Safe and dignified housing will give people living with mental illness and substance use, our veterans and many others dealing with critical life issues the stability and support they need for a successful recovery.”

Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said, “Supportive housing for individuals impacted by addiction can have a strong impact on their health and well-being and is an important part of the continuum of addiction services available here in New York State. Thanks to Governor Hochul’s ongoing efforts, this initiative continues to support vital expansions to supportive housing across New York state, helping individuals and their families who have been affected by addiction find the help and resources that they need. We look forward to the continued benefits this will bring to New Yorkers.”

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “We are grateful that Gov. Hochul recognizes the essential role that supportive housing has in empowering formerly homeless families and individuals to achieve and maintain stable lives in their communities. The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative funding is a core component of OTDA’s work to provide permanent supportive housing to families and individuals who have experienced homelessness.”

Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Suzanne Miles-Gustave, Esq., said, "We thank Gov. Hochul for continuing to take bold action to improve the health and well-being of all children and families. At a time when New Yorkers are facing increasingly complex challenges, those in need of our unwavering support will be provided stable, more equitable housing and direct access to life-changing mental health and substance use disorder programs. These cross-systems services are at the heart of OCFS’s work alongside our partner state agencies, helping build a stronger sense of security that allows vulnerable communities to thrive in ways that simply wouldn’t be possible without these vital resources.”

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Kerri Neifeld said, “These residential opportunities diversify our neighborhoods and empower people with developmental disabilities to live with greater independence as a part of their communities. Thank you to Gov. Hochul and the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative for envisioning a more inclusive New York.”

Division of Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Today's life-changing awards will provide the safety and stability of a home to thousands of New Yorkers and ensure access to tailored supportive services that will enable these individuals to thrive in their communities. These deserving grantees are exceptional partners in delivering affordable homes and care to people in need. Thank you to Gov. Hochul for her continued commitment to addressing the mental health crisis and creating opportunities for vulnerable populations across the state.”

Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Executive Director Kelli Owens said, “Safe housing is essential for survivors and their families in their journey to freedom and healing. Thank you, Gov. Kathy Hochul, for your continued support in helping survivors of gender-based violence with survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally-responsive programs. The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative helps stabilize families experiencing homelessness due to domestic violence."

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