Governor Andrew Cuomo says the fifth round of awards from the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative will provide $30 million annually to fund support services and operating costs for at least 1,200 units of supportive housing for homeless persons with special needs, conditions or other challenges.
The 179 conditional awards will help 104 community providers create housing opportunities in 41 counties across New York.
The conditional awards provide service and operating funding for permanent supportive housing units. The awards will allow applicants to secure separate capital funding to finance the development and construction of their housing projects.
The awards will be used to provide rental assistance and services to eligible target populations to ensure their housing stability. ESSHI has provided for the construction of more than 5,000 units of supportive 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.
In total, New York has financed the new construction and preservation of more than 7,000 units of supportive housing, putting the State well on its way to meeting the governor’s goal of creating or preserving 20,000 units of supportive housing over 15 years. The Executive Budget includes $250 million in additional capital funding to help meet that goal.
The conditional awards follow the governor’s 2021 State of the State proposal to create new supportive housing by allowing commercial property owners to convert underutilized office buildings and hotels in New York to residential use, including affordable and supportive housing. Gov. Cuomo also demonstrated his commitment to supportive housing in his 2021-22 Executive Budget proposal, which continues his $20 billion, comprehensive five-year investment in affordable and supportive housing and services to provide New Yorkers with safe and secure homes.
Although the New York State Office of Mental Health serves as the lead procurement agency for ESSHI, the program is a multi-agency effort, with a workgroup that includes representatives from the Department of Health, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Office of Children and Family Services, the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.