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Office of Mental Health

NOVEMBER 18, 2019 | Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million in Awards for 1,200 Supportive Housing Units Across New York State

Fourth Round Awards Will Fund 163 Community Providers in 43 Counties Across the State

Awards Advance Governor's Sweeping $20 Billion, 5-Year Plan to Develop Over 100,000 Units of Affordable Housing and 6,000 Units of Supportive Housing

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced 163 conditional awards totaling $30 million to agencies in 43 counties across New York to provide support services and operating funding for at least 1,200 units of supportive housing for homeless persons with special needs, conditions or other challenges. This is the fourth funding round of the Governor's Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. Announced in 2016, ESSHI is one component of the Governor's historic $20 billion, five-year plan to create or preserve more than 100,000 affordable and at least 6,000 supportive housing units.

"This round of awards is another major step forward in our efforts to create a truly accessible and inclusive New York State," Governor Cuomo said. "These projects will help ensure that some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers have access to supportive services and safe, affordable housing."

Since 2016, more than 5,000 supportive housing units have been funded, including nearly 3,200 under ESSHI, which provides 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.

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.

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.

Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "Safe and stable housing, with supportive services, give people living with mental illness the foundation they need to live and thrive in their own community. It is an effective step on the road to recovery, and thanks to Governor Cuomo's commitment to supportive housing, thousands of individuals and families are now able to pursue full and successful lives."

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Today’s announcement continues Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented efforts to reduce homelessness in communities across the state. This $30 million investment will help individuals and families with special needs access the services they need to live with independence and dignity in a home that they can call their own. We look forward to partnering with the 163 community providers to increase access to affordable, stable and safe housing for all New Yorkers.”

Department Of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “Stable housing is inextricably linked to maintaining health. Through the Empire State Housing Initiative, Governor Cuomo has made it possible to provide affordable housing and services for thousands of formerly homeless New Yorkers.”

Office of the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “Access to safe, affordable, supportive housing is critical to helping vulnerable older adults stay connected to the vital community resources they need to remain healthy and engaged. As the first age-friendly state, this latest investment is another example of the Governor's ongoing commitment to make New York the healthiest state in the country and a great place to grow up and grow older.”

Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "Stable, supportive housing is foundational to the success of any young adult, whether they are aging out of the foster care system, previously homeless or returning to the community following a juvenile justice placement. A home is the base from which they can pursue education, employment or vocational opportunity that will lead them to further accomplishments. I commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment to helping these vulnerable young New Yorkers attain the stability they need to focus on building their futures."

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, "Governor Cuomo has shown great leadership and focus in helping those most vulnerable in our state. All too often, individuals who experience homelessness also suffer from an underlying and untreated condition, such as substance use disorder or mental illness. Supportive housing enables these individuals to receive the treatment and assistance to address these conditions, break cycles of housing instability, and thrive within their community. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership and through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, New York State continues to make critical investments in the services that our most vulnerable residents can use to chart a course to a brighter future."

Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Executive Director Kelli Owens said, "We know that domestic violence can affect anyone, but the fact remains that women are disproportionately its victims. Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women and these grants will provide critical support to them and in many cases, their children, by providing a safe, stable and affordable place to live while they seek services and assistance that help move forward with their lives. This investment is just another example of Governor Cuomo's commitment to ensuring that the state remains a leader in addressing all facets of domestic violence and its collateral consequences."

Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Theodore Kastner, MD, MS, said, "Affordable, supportive housing provides the foundation for integrated, community living for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, and with the assistance of our state agency partners, we can help to expand and improve supportive housing to ensure the people OPWDD supports have the opportunity to live happy, fulfilled lives in their neighborhoods and communities."

The awards announced today 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.

The conditional awards, by region and county, are listed here.

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