On August 16th, New York State released the fourth-round Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) Request for Proposals (RFP), due on September 25, 2019. The State is issuing this RFP to advance the five-year goal of developing 6,000 units of supportive housing over five years. Funding for at least 1,200 qualifying individuals will be awarded through this RFP.
By Toni Lasicki, Executive Director of Association for Community Living
This year’s final state budget, passed in April, included a small amount of funding for Office of Mental Health (OMH) housing rate increases and rehab and renovation of existing housing stock. While appreciated, we know it is not nearly enough to address years of disinvestment of the system, which needs a much larger infusion of resources to remain viable.
Therefore, at the end of the 2019 Legislative Session in June, the Assembly and Senate unanimously passed the “Mental Health Housing Commission Bill” (S5637/A7489) to create a temporary Office of Mental Health Housing Program Evaluation Commission. This commission would make determinations and recommendations regarding OMH mental health housing on the adequacy of funding levels, numbers of direct care and professional staff, the level of programmatic needs of the residents, and the ability of the programs to meet such needs. These programs have not been evaluated, nor has the acuity of the clients in their care been evaluated, in more than 30 years.
Supportive housing pioneer and Community Access CEO Steve Coe retired after four decades of leadership. He is succeeded by Cal Hedigan, who joined in 1999 and was previously Deputy CEO.
Steve’s vision for the organization earned him a reputation as an early innovator for mental health housing. He revolutionized public perceptions of people with mental health concerns with an approach that celebrated residents’ individual dignity and ability to determine their own life paths.
By Deborah VanAmerongen and Nate Cushman
For owners of properties with Moderate Rehabilitation Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts, conversion through Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) is an underutilized opportunity. In New York City, the Mod Rehab contracts are administered by NYC Housing and Preservation Department (HPD). There are other local housing agencies throughout New York State that also administer these contracts. There have been significant changes to Mod Rehab conversions under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) RAD since the program was created, and if you have not reviewed your RAD options lately, it may be time to revisit them. There may be an opportunity to increase the property’s cash flow, revitalize its physical condition, and even take out funds to serve your organization’s mission.
This high-level view will detail the advantages of the RAD conversion process and key points to bear in mind as you consider your transaction. Of course, the details of each transaction will affect what is possible for each property.
On July 8, 2019, on behalf of New York’s supportive housing community, the Network submitted comment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) expressing strong opposition to the changes regarding “verification of eligible status,” published in the Federal Register on May 10, 2019. The Network’s letter outlined with specifics how the proposed rule “would only exacerbate the homelessness crisis plaguing the nation.”
A high-level view of its content is below.