Cuomo announces conditional awards to help homeless

OBSERVER Staff Report

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced 182 conditional awards for more than 1,200 units of supportive housing for homeless persons with special needs, conditions or other challenges. The awards will provide support services and operating funds to 116 community partners in 43 counties across the State. This is the third phase of Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative awards, which is part of the Governor’s 5-year, $2.6 billion commitment to developing 6,000 units of supportive housing in New York State.

Providers in Chautauqua County were Young Women’s Christian Association of Jamestown and the Southern Tier Environments for Living, Inc. In Cattaraugus County DePaul Community Services, Inc. was the announced provider.

“The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative is providing thousands of individuals with the stability and services they need to live productive lives,” Governor Cuomo said. “This administration has made a historic commitment to ending homelessness and ensuring that even the most vulnerable New Yorkers have access to affordable housing, making communities across the state safer for all.”

“As part of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, we’re making sure the most vulnerable New Yorkers are provided with housing and support services,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “We’ve made significant investments in our effort to end homelessness across the state, and today’s awards will fund the cost for supportive housing in 43 counties to make sure homeless individuals with special needs are given the resources they need to lead stable and productive lives.”

Since Governor Cuomo announced his landmark $20 billion Housing Plan in the 2016 State of the State message, New York has already provided funding for the construction and/or operation of 3,098 supportive housing units in just two years. The latest round of Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative awards are five-year renewable contracts for services and operating costs for at least 1,200 additional supportive housing units, bringing the total number of units funded to more than 4,200 in just three years.

Awardees are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in services and operating funds for each new supportive housing unit. The awards will help applicants secure capital through New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the Homeless Housing Assistance Program to finance the development and construction of their supportive housing project.

In this third round of awards, applicants were instructed to demonstrate how their proposals would help specific populations, including homeless veterans and their families; victims of domestic violence; frail or disabled senior citizens; young adults with histories of incarceration, homelessness or foster care; chronically homeless individuals and families; individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities; and people living with HIV or AIDS, serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

The awards announced may be used to provide rental assistance and services to eligible target populations to ensure their housing stability, including but not limited to:

¯ Primary and behavioral health services;

¯ Employment and vocational training and/or assistance;

¯ Educational assistance, including GED support;

¯ Parenting skills development and support;

¯ Child care assistance;

¯ Counseling and crisis intervention;

¯ Children’s services, including educational advocacy, support and counseling; and

¯ Services or staff to identify and locate eligible individuals that need housing.

The awards will address the needs of all the populations served by the agencies in the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative Interagency Workgroup, which include:

¯ 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; and

¯ Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.