Cuomo Launches Next Phase to Combat Homelessness




$30 Million in Annual Operating Funds Available to Provide 1,200 Supportive Housing Units

 

POLITICSGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the third phase of the historic $20 billion five-year plan launched in 2016 to create or preserve over 100,000 affordable and at least 6,000 supportive housing units. Phase III of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative includes a Request for Proposals, issued by the New York State Office of Mental Health, that will provide $30 million in service and operating funding for at least 1,200 units of supportive housing.

 

“Each and every New Yorker deserves the stability of having a secure, affordable place to call home,” Governor Cuomo said. “By continuing to improve access to affordable and supportive housing, we can combat homelessness and make communities across the state better and safer for all.”

The RFP was developed by the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, Interagency workgroup, which includes representatives from the following state agencies:

 

Office of Mental Health

 

Department of Health, including the AIDS Institute

 

New York State Homes and Community Renewal

 

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

 

Office of Children and Family Services

 

Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

 

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

 

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

The eligible target populations this program intends to serve include homeless veterans and their families; victims of domestic violence; frail or disabled senior citizens; young adults with histories of incarceration, homelessness or foster care; chronically homeless individuals and families; individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities; as well as persons living with HIV or AIDS, serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

 

Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State is leveraging its resources to become a national leader in combatting homelessness and housing insecurity. The funding made available today will continue our ability deliver the affordable and supportive homes thousands of New Yorkers need to obtain housing and stay in it.”

 

Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to supportive housing is providing thousands of individuals and families with the opportunity to live safely and productively in their own community. Stable housing with integrated services is one of the most significant resources we can give to people who are working towards recovery from mental illness.”

 

Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, “This initiative will provide vitally-important stable housing for children and families and promote new opportunities for caregiver skills training and support. Coupled with critical funding for child care assistance, this initiative holds promise for improving children’s well-being throughout the state.”

 

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, “This funding will help provide much needed rental subsidies and supportive services, and ensure New Yorkers with substance use disorders have a safe place to call home. Access to safe, supportive housing is one of the most important ways that we can give people with this disease the help they need, and support their recovery in the continuum of addiction care. I thank Governor Cuomo for once again putting the health of New Yorkers first with this effort.”

 

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, “Supportive housing brings together housing and services tailored to help individuals and their families achieve greater stability in their lives. I commend the Governor for his dedication and support to create healthier, stronger communities across New York.”

 

Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Acting Commissioner Kerry A. Delaney said, “Through programs like the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, Governor Cuomo is providing New Yorkers with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live richer lives in their communities of choice. Affordable supportive housing is the foundation for the fulfilling, community-integrated life OPWDD strives to help people achieve. We appreciate this opportunity to join our agency partners to expand and improve supportive housing throughout New York State.”

 

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said, “Affordable supportive housing is paramount to a healthy, more independent lifestyle. By helping New Yorkers obtain a safe and affordable place to call home, we are ensuring that our most vulnerable residents have the opportunity to prosper. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to combatting homelessness will truly help make New York a safer and healthier place for all.”

 

Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Executive Director Gwen Wright said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has expanded its commitment to protecting victims and survivors of domestic violence, which disproportionately impacts women and children. The availability of supportive housing could mean the difference between someone staying in an abusive relationship or leaving to start a new chapter in their lives. This initiative will truly make a difference in the lives of vulnerable New Yorkers.”

The RFP will provide the service and operating funding needed to operate permanent supportive housing units statewide. Applicants are expected to secure separate capital funding to finance the development and construction of their housing project. Funding awarded under this RFP may be used to provide rental assistance and services to eligible target populations to ensure their housing stability. Permissible uses of funds include, but are not limited to the following:

 

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 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

 

Costs associated with services and/or staff that help individuals and families remain stably housed, including housing counselors or specialists, and employment counseling.

 

For those projects that may need capital resources, funding may be secured through private sources, by partnering with a project developer that has secured or is in the process of securing capital funding, or through various state agencies including OTDA, HCR, and OPWDD. Predevelopment and Program Development Grant Funding is also available from OMH and from OASAS.

 

Although OMH is the lead procurement agency for the RFP, proposals do not have to be for services to persons with mental illness, but should address the range of needs of the populations served by the ESSHI agencies. The RFP is available through the Grants Gateway and on the OMH website at: https://www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/rfp/.

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