Cuomo: $30 Million Available To Fund Operating Costs Of At Least 1, 200 Supportive Housing Units

Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million Available To Fund Operating Costs Of At Least 1,200 Supportive Housing Units

Fourth Round of Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative Will Advance Governor's Historic $20 Billion Plan to Combat Homelessness

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the fourth funding round of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative - or ESSHI - which will provide up to $30 million in service and operating funding for at least 1,200 units of supportive housing. 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 6,000 supportive housing units.

"New York is making tremendous strides towards our goal of providing safe, affordable and stable housing for all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to develop affordable and supportive housing across the state to make sure more individuals and families have access to a home of their own."

"This investment will continue our efforts to provide affordable, supportive, and quality housing in communities across the state,"said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We want to make sure that all New Yorkers have access to housing and services they need to live their best lives. The investment builds on our nation-leading, $20 billion plan to increase affordable housing stock and combat homelessness in New York."

Since 2016, more than 5,000 supportive housing units have been funded, including nearly 3,200 under the implementation of ESSHI. The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative provides operational funding to providers for the development and operation of supportive housing for people identified as homeless with special needs, conditions, or other life challenges. 

Research shows that supportive housing has a positive effect on mental and physical health, employment and school attendance. It provides significant savings by decreasing the use of shelters, hospitals, emergency rooms, prisons and jails and helps to beautify neighborhoods with new or rehabilitated buildings.  Most importantly, supportive housing provides safe and affordable homes for individuals and families to assist them in leading stable and fulfilling lives.

ESSHI housing serves the following at-risk populations: homeless veterans and their families; victims of domestic violence; seniors or frail elderly; young adults with histories 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.

A Request For Proposals for the funding awards was developed by the Governor's ESSHI 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

Awards will provide the 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 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 high school equivalency diploma 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.

Bidder's Conferences will be offered at an upstate and downstate location to provide information regarding the RFP. Specific times and locations of the Bidder's Conferences will be posted on OMH's procurement page within one week following the RFP release date.