The Network advocates for public policy positions that advance the growth and effectiveness of supportive housing. State advocacy efforts are aimed at affecting policy and budget decisions that promote and protect supportive housing in New York State.
The Network is currently engaging in advocacy on the 2013 State budget. A final budget is anticipated as early as March 21. The following three items comprise our key priorities for this budget season.
Add $4.1M to the Homeless Housing Prevention Services Program
Last year, the Homeless Housing Prevention Services Program (HHSP), which funds the NYS Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP), the Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP) and the Operational Support for AIDS Housing (OSAH) Program, was funded at $30.3 million. This year's Executive Budget proposes to fund it at $28.7 million, $1.6 million less than what's needed to operate all existing programs.
In addition, there are 32 residences with 932 units without NYSSHP funding in New York. This year, seven residences operating 324 units will open without services funding, and require an additional $2.5 million.
All told, the HHSP should be funded at $34.4 million to fund all existing and new supportive housing residences across the state.
Support the Department of Health's $91M MRT Supportive Housing Program
The Department of Health's Medicaid Redesign Team Supportive Housing Program is designed to create 4,600 units of supportive and supported housing for high-cost Medicaid users. The Executive Budget proposes to fund this new program at $91 million. The Network enthusiastically supports this proposal and will work to ensure that it remains in the final budget.
Fund the Department of Health AIDS Institute's NY/NY III program at $7.6M
The Executive Budget proposes to fund the entire Department of Health AIDS Institute budget in one bucket without allocating a specific amount for NY/NY III funding. The final budget must allocate $7.6 million to the AIDS Institute’s NY/NY III program to fund all 660 open units that serve formerly homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. The Network is holding meetings in Albany to ensure that this funding remains adequate.
In addition to these more immediate budget concerns, the Network works full-time to achieve the following policy outcomes in Albany:
Preserve and protect supportive housing operations and service funds
In order to ensure tenants continue to receive the services they need to remain stably housed, the Network works with executive and state agency staff and elected officials to maintain and expand operation and service funding levels.
Increase capital commitments to meet the supportive housing need in New York State
The Network works with state officials to increase the number of supportive housing units to a level that meets the need in New York State.
Increase NY/NY III capital commitments to keep the joint state and city initiative on schedule
In 2006, New York City and New York State agreed to develop 9,000 units of supportive housing over 10 years as part of the NY/NY III agreement. The Network advocates for state capital funding with the state agencies responsible for maintaining the 10 year commitment.