Governor Kathy Hochul has 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.