Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced the 2021 executive budget includes the greatest funding in state history to combat homelessness and expand access to affordable housing and supportive services.
The Budget doubles funding from $64 million to $128 million for the Homeless Housing Assistance Program, which will create more housing for individuals and families who are homeless and unable to secure adequate housing without assistance.
The Budget also invests $5 million to expand permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and supports the continued implementation of Code Blue efforts across the State with a $13 million stand-alone appropriation.
“Homelessness is a growing problem in some parts of our state, and right now we are seeing too many New Yorkers living and sleeping on the street,” Governor Cuomo said.
“The homeless issue has been studied, debated, litigated, and addressed for 40 years. We know what works and we know what doesn’t work from experience, and we know that there are only two factors for a solution: commitment of resources and competence of administration. This significant investment – the largest amount of funding in the history of the State of New York – will expand access to quality, affordable housing and supportive services for our most vulnerable men, women and children and create a stronger, more prosperous New York for all.”
This funding builds on the Governor’s historic $20 billion, five-year plan to combat homelessness and advance the construction of affordable housing in New York State. The Housing Plan will ultimately create 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing across the state.
Increasing Housing for Homeless Individuals and Families
Increasing permanent supportive and affordable housing is an effective long-term solution to reducing homelessness and associated costs, and helps improve the quality of life for entire communities.
The 2021 budget adds additional funding to the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program – or HHAP – doubling it for FY 2021 from $64 million to $128 million, to help create more housing for individuals and families who are homeless and unable to secure adequate housing without assistance. HHAP funds the capital construction of housing solely targeted to homeless individuals and families that require wrap-around services to remain stably housed, helping to achieve the State’s supportive housing development goals.
Expanding Affordable Housing and Support Services for Homeless Veterans.
Veterans are more likely to experience homelessness than non-veterans, and many veterans who are at risk for homelessness are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder or substance use disorder, complicating efforts to get them into stable housing.
The FY 2021 Executive Budget directs $5 million to expanding permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans through HHAP.
HCR will also designate housing opportunities within their affordable housing developments so that homeless veterans in receipt of rental subsidies and Federal vouchers can more readily access affordable housing. Additionally, OTDA will work with DVS and localities to ensure temporary housing and services are provided to veterans experiencing homelessness and help provide them with permanent housing within 90 days of becoming homeless.
Code Blue Investment
In 2016, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order to direct local social services districts, working in consultation with State and local law enforcement and community-based organizations, to protect individuals experiencing homelessness from inclement winter weather when temperatures, including wind chill, decline to 32 degrees or below. To support continued implementation of Code Blue efforts across the State, the FY 2021 Executive Budget memorializes the Governor’s directive with a $13 million stand-alone appropriation.