State Funding Helps to Create Permanent Supportive Housing in Suffolk County for Veterans
Project is Part of Governor's $20 Billion Homelessness and Affordable Housing Plan
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a $1.5 million project to provide permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless veterans and their families on Long Island. Funded primarily through the state's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, the development includes three single-family homes with a total of 15 beds in the Suffolk County hamlet of Central Islip.
"New York State is committed to serving those who have served their country, and this supportive housing project ensures those brave women and men have a place to call home," Governor Cuomo said. "This project will help homeless and formerly homeless veterans on Long Island secure permanent housing and achieve stability for themselves and their families."
"We're committed to investing in services and programs to support our most vulnerable New Yorkers, including our brave veterans," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This funding for supportive housing on Long Island will help to ensure an affordable, quality place for formerly homeless veterans and their families to live and continue our efforts to combat homelessness across the state."
The project received $1.3 million from the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, which is administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Concern for Independent Living, a Long Island-based not-for-profit agency, funded the remaining cost of the project and will provide supportive services for the homes, including linkages to other services within the community.
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Mike Hein said, "New York State has an obligation to help those who bravely served our country - especially those veterans who have fallen on hard times. These homes will provide veterans and their families with the permanent housing and support services they can rely on to turn over a new leaf. This project represents another step in our goal to eradicate homelessness among our veteran population once and for all."
New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs Executive Deputy Director Joel Evans said, "New York State has made a promise to its veterans and their families that when they return they will be taken care of. These homes are a concrete example of how New York State is fulfilling that promise to those veterans and families most in need. The additional linkages to social services will play an integral role in ensuring the long-term success of these veterans and their families in Suffolk County. As a U.S. Navy veteran, I am proud to be a part of Governor Cuomo and New York State's efforts to put an end to homelessness for New York's veterans and their families."
The new homes were built on a plot of land donated by Suffolk County under the Housing Our Homeless Heroes Act, a local law adopted in 2014 and aimed at ending veteran homelessness in the region. More than 75,000 veterans reside in Suffolk County, which has the largest population of them in New York State.
Each home is energy-efficient and handicapped-accessible. Residents have access to supportive services such as case management, service planning, rehabilitative counseling, crisis intervention with 24-hour emergency service and life skills training.
Concern for Independent Living operates more than 850 units of housing across Suffolk County, Nassau County and Brooklyn, including 60 units for homeless veterans that are supported through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. The agency provides housing and supportive services to roughly 1,000 people, including 100 children.
The project is part of Governor Cuomo's $20 billion Homelessness and Affordable Housing Action Plan, which is combating homelessness by building and preserving more than 110,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multi-family and single-family housing, community development and rent stabilization.
Senator Monica Martinez said, "It is crucial that we take care of our veterans, and programs like this will help to combat the high rate of homelessness among that community. I applaud the Governor's initiative, and this is a great step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of veterans across Long Island."
Assemblyman Steve Stern said, "As the author of the Housing Our Homeless Heroes Act, it is enormously gratifying to see this vision become reality. Today marks a new beginning for these veterans and their families in Suffolk County. Today we say as a community that when a soldier goes off to protect the ground we stand on, it is unacceptable that he or she should have to come home to sleep on it. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Veterans Services Agency Director Tom Ronayne, and Concern for Independent Living for their assistance in making today possible."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "Suffolk County is home to the largest veterans' population in New York State and it is our obligation to honor and help our heroes who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. I am incredibly grateful to Governor Cuomo and Concern for Independent Living for their leadership in addressing veteran homelessness on Long Island and providing the funding needed to make this project possible. We will continue to work with all of our partners to help our veterans in need by providing them with the support and services they need."
Concern for Independent Living Executive Director Ralph Fasano said, "We want to thank Governor Cuomo and the staff of OTDA for providing the funding that made this project possible, as well as County Executive Steve Bellone and New York State Assemblyman Steven Stern for making this land available. Partnerships such as these are essential to ending homelessness among Veterans on Long Island."