Request for Proposals Issued for Funding Through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative
Awards to Provide Operating Expenses for 1,400 Supportive Housing Units Statewide
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the availability of $35 million in funding to provide supportive services for affordable housing projects statewide. The seventh round of funding through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative will help cover operating expenses for 1,400 units of permanent supportive housing that will help reduce housing instability among vulnerable populations in New York.
"Supportive housing is a critical component of our efforts to build inclusive communities and ensure all New Yorkers have a safe, affordable place to call home," Governor Hochul said. "The funding announced today through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative will be critical to addressing the root causes of housing instability and uplifting our most vulnerable and marginalized populations."
The State Office of Mental Health - the lead procurement agency for the initiative -issued a request for proposals today for Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative funding, which is dispersed by an interagency workgroup of eight State agencies serving vulnerable New Yorkers. The initiative provides operating funding for supportive service providers serving homeless veterans and their families; victims of domestic violence; seniors or frail elderly; 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.
Projects may receive up to $25,000 per unit per year for service and operating funding needed to operate permanent supportive housing units. Applicants are expected to secure separate capital funding to finance the development and construction of their housing project.
Funding awarded through the initiative 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.
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 Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative is an important component of Governor Hochul's bold statewide plan to make housing more affordable, equitable, and stable. In the FY 2023 State Budget, Governor Hochul successfully secured a new $25 billion, five-year, comprehensive housing plan that will increase the housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "The ESSHI program, and Governor Hochul's commitment to supportive housing have provided new opportunities to thousands of vulnerable individuals and families. Supportive housing is a powerful resource that helps people live productive, successful and fulfilling lives in their own homes and their own communities, and we at OMH are proud to join our partners in state government to offer this funding opportunity."
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett said. "Access to affordable and supportive housing not only improves New Yorkers quality of life but also directly enhances their personal health, allowing many the ability to leave homelessness and live in permanent housing in the community. This is another illustration of Governor Hochul's commitment to supporting the most vulnerable New Yorkers by building affordable housing, with on-site social services, the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative promotes social equity and economic prosperity for all New Yorkers."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Supportive housing gives families and individuals the opportunity to achieve stable and healthy lives in the neighborhoods of their choice and in homes to call their own. Round 7 of the successful Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative will make $35 million available to help an additional 1,400 New York households. Thanks to Governor Hochul's longstanding commitment to combating homelessness and housing insecurity, we will continue to build and preserve inclusive affordable housing developments that result in stronger and more equitable communities."
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, "Governor Hochul recognizes that more than brick and mortar is needed to provide housing for those who have experienced homelessness, and the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative is fundamental to these efforts. The combination of housing and support services can help stabilize the lives of some of our most vulnerable fellow New Yorkers, giving them new hope and opportunity for a better life."
New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Kerri Neifeld said, "The Governor's Empire State Supportive Housing initiative continues to provide vital opportunities for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities to live independently while receiving the assistance they need. With each year's expansion of the program, more people are able to realize their dream of having a place of their own. OPWDD is pleased to support this initiative again this year to offer hope, pride and satisfaction to even more New Yorkers with developmental disabilities as they are supported to live in their own home and take part in their community."
New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Executive Director Kelli Owens said, "Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in the United States. Without access to safe and affordable housing, victims of gender-based violence often have to choose between homelessness and a lifetime of abuse. The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative addresses this critical need and creates the opportunity for more victims to transition to a life of freedom. I am honored to serve a Governor who understands the intersection between housing stability and gender-based violence and supports survivor-centered initiatives that prioritize safety."
New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said, "Having a stable and secure place to call home is vitally important for people impacted by substance use disorder, and I am grateful to Governor Hochul's commitment to creating more supportive housing options across New York State. Thanks to these new units, more New Yorkers will be able to access the services they need to support their health."
New York State Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, "Young adults need stable housing to succeed in life, whether they are previously homeless, aging out of the foster care system or returning to the community after a juvenile justice placement. Safe and supportive housing offers the security that young people need so they can focus on pursuing an education, employment, or a vocational opportunity in support of leading productive and healthy lives."
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