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Showing Posts by Date: 09/2016

165th Street Residence Opens


Cutting the ribbon at 165th Street residence.

PSCH staff, partners and government notables joined in the celebration of the opening of PSCH’s newest supportive housing project, 165th Street Residence September 13th. The new apartment building provides 58 beautiful new apartments to a mix of formerly homeless individuals and low-income families from the community.

Developed with Christa Construction and CSD Housing, the lovely ten story residence features an exercise room, a spacious outdoor recreation area and bike storage in addition to the beautifully-designed studio, one-and two-bedroom apartments.

PSCH CEO Alan Weinstock and CFO Sherry Tucker hosted the packed celebration, citing the numerous obstacles the project encountered in the multi-year effort to get the building built as well as the roster of partners who helped see the project through to fruition.  Partners including OMH’s Moira Tashjian, Christa Construction’s Mike Dehmler and NYC Community Affairs Liaison Jonathan Soto spoke about the project’s physical beauty with its bright yellow architectural highlights as well as its excellent mission, to provide quality  housing opportunities for vulnerable New Yorkers.   Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene was on hand to welcome PSCH to the neighborhood. And Kim Blocker, a tenant of another PSCH residence for the past five years shared her personal story of renewal, reminding those in attendance about the power of supportive housing to transform lives.

165th Street received capital funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health and New York State Housing Finance Agency. The Office of Mental Health is also funding onsite services. Mega  Contracting was the contractor, Amy Larovere the development consultant, Hirschen Singer Epstein acted as the project’s lawyer.  UAI was the project’s architect and Richman Housing Resources syndicated tax credits.  

| What's New, New York City, Openings

First Awards Announced for Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative


Last week, Governor Cuomo made the very first awards for the state’s new supportive housing services and operating program – Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI).  Awards went to 84 not-for-profit agencies, totaling over 100 separate projects.  Almost 80% of the awards went to Network members.

These awards will provide the service and operating funding for 1,200 units of supportive housing, the state’s first year goal of the Governor’s 15 year commitment to develop 20,000 new supportive housing units across New York State.

Awardees will now be able to take these ESSHI conditional awards to secure capital funding for projects.

As more details become available, the Network will circulate information. Congratulations to all organizations that received awards.  

Here is the Governor's Announcement:


For Immediate Release: 9/13/2016


State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor


Governor’s Sweeping $2.6 Billion, 5-Year Plan to Develop 6,000 Units of Supportive Housing Moves Forward; 84 Community Providers in 40 Counties Notified of Award

Statewide Awards Advance Governor’s Unprecedented $10.45 Billion Homelessness Action Plan

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the first conditional awards that will support the development of 1,200 units of supportive housing for vulnerable New Yorkers who are at risk of homelessness.

The awards, made following a Request for Proposals issued in June, will support the ongoing service and operating expenses of supportive housing projects. This funding will be made available to supportive housing providers under five-year contracts which are renewable at the end of their term. New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will work with supportive housing providers who have received these conditional contract awards to secure the capital funding needed to complete supportive housing projects. These awards represent a major step forward in the Governor’s unprecedented $2.6 billion, five-year plan to construct 6,000 new supportive housing units across New York State.

“The state is taking aggressive action to end chronic homelessness and help move thousands of New Yorkers into permanent housing,” Governor Cuomo said. “These awards will not only help ensure New York’s families and children have a safe, comfortable place to call home, but provide them with the resources they need to change their lives. With the development of these vital units, we are swiftly moving forward on the state’s transformational blueprint to tackle this crisis and bringing hope and opportunity to our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

James S. Rubin, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said, “Time is always of the essence when addressing the unique issues and needs faced by homeless individuals and families. The State of New York, thanks to Governor Cuomo, is leading the way nationally and setting the pace with regard to our commitment to serving the neediest among us. We know that as important as it is to have a roof over head, so are the services and care we can deliver. The 84 awards we are announcing today will help provide the quality and quantity of care that allows people to live independently, regain confidence in themselves, manage their health and safety, and gain the skills they need to once again live productive and rewarding lives. The HCR team looks forward to working with all our partners to quickly move these initiatives from the drawing board to reality.”

Fran Barrett, Interagency Coordinator for Not-for-Profit Services, said, “Under Governor Cuomo, New York continues to lead the way forward in ensuring our most vulnerable populations have a safe, affordable place to live. By investing in the development these new supportive housing units, this funding will advance the state’s comprehensive homelessness action plan and help build stronger communities and a brighter future for all New Yorkers.”

Under the Governor’s plan, the conditional awards cover more than the 1,200 units of supportive housing expected to be developed this year. HCR and OTDA will select projects that meet the greatest need for supportive housing. A total of 84 community-based providers have received these conditional awards for a total of 121 projects. The awards include 79 projects throughout upstate New York and 42 projects in New York City. It is expected that approximately 80 percent of the units in the supportive housing projects that become fully funded will be located across the five boroughs – consistent with the distribution of the homeless population in New York State.

Selection Criteria
Following the release of a Request for Proposals in June, applicants were tasked with demonstrating how their proposals will specifically address a gap in homeless housing services, using federal, state, and local data to identify need. Applications were graded using a consistent metric, which examined the impact of their proposal upon homelessness, the cost effectiveness of their proposal, and the readiness of the provider to complete the project.

The awards are conditional upon the provider receiving full capital funding, which they may seek from various entities including Homes and Community Renewal and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless and Housing Assistance Program. The service and operating funds announced today will be contractually released to the awarded providers when the capital project is built and ready to open.

State Funding
As part of the Governor’s comprehensive statewide effort to end homelessness, the
awards are being financially supported by multiple funding streams, including the first $150 million of a $2 billion memorandum of understanding signed by Governor Cuomo in June, $63 million from the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program and other capital resources, $230 million of federal tax credit equity, and $94 million in service and operating contracts over the next five years.

Permanent Supportive Housing
The 1,200 new and permanent supportive housing units will serve vulnerable populations with special needs, and will include a variety of services tailored to their needs, such as employment training, counseling and crisis intervention, educational assistance, legal services, independent living skills training, benefits advocacy and assistance in obtaining and maintaining primary and mental healthcare.

Targeted homeless demographics include 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.

State-wide Interagency Council on Homelessness
In December 2015, Governor Cuomo formed the Interagency Council on Homelessness, co-chaired by Fran Barrett, the Governor’s Interagency Coordinator for Not-for-Profit Services, and HCR Commissioner James S. Rubin.

The Interagency Council is charged with taking a comprehensive look at the problem of homelessness statewide, and working alongside providers and local governments to identify problems, pursue solutions and establish a creative and flexible set of best practices, including ensuring a statewide continuum of care and conducting a thorough review of policies and procedures that can eliminate barriers to service.

The Interagency Council will provide an opportunity to continue that important dialogue with plans to issue its first report in December 2016.

The Council members include:

Dr. Rosa Gil, President and CEO of Comunilife
Tony Hannigan, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Urban Services
Deborah Damm O'Brien, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Housing of Albany
Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Senior Advisor to the President of Hunter College, Chair of the Board of Directors of NYC Health + Hospitals
John Paul Perez, Partner Relations Associate, Finger Lakes Performing Provider System (FLPPS)
Reverend Dr. Maria Scates, CEO of Utica’s Johnson Park Center
Melissa Spicer, Executive Director, Clear Path for Veterans
Christine Quinn, President and CEO of WIN
Bobby Watts, Executive Director of Care for the Homeless
Dale Zuchlewski, Executive Director, Homeless Alliance of Western New York

The Governor’s Homelessness Action Plan is a comprehensive initiative involving multiple state agencies. In addition to the $2.6 billion for 6,000 new supportive housing units, the unprecedented initiative commits $7.8 billion to sustain existing supportive housing units, shelter beds, and other homeless services throughout New York State.

The following providers received awards:

Capital Region
The Albany Damien Center - Albany County
Albany Housing Coalition - Albany County
Catholic Charities Housing Office - Albany County
Equinox, Inc. - Albany County
Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless - Albany County
Rehabilitation Support Services - Albany County
Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties - Greene County
The Community Builders - Rensselaer County
St. Paul’s Center - Rensselaer County
Unity House, Inc. - Rensselaer County
SCAP, Inc. - Saratoga County
CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services - Saratoga County
Mohawk Opportunities - Schenectady County
SCAP, Inc. - Schenectady County

Central New York Region
Rescue Mission Alliance of Syracuse - Cayuga County
Catholic Charities of Onondaga County - Onondaga County
Center for Community Alternatives - Onondaga County
Rescue Mission Alliance of Syracuse - Onondaga County
The Salvation Army - Onondaga County
St. Camillus Health Care Facility - Onondaga County
YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County - Onondaga County
Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. - Oswego County

Finger Lakes Region
DePaul Community Services, Inc. - Genesee County
DePaul Community Services, Inc. - Livingston County
Alternatives for Battered Women - Monroe County
East House - Monroe County
Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach - Monroe County
Volunteers of America of Western New York - Monroe County
Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy - Ontario County
FLACRA - Ontario County
DePaul Community Services, Inc. - Orleans County
FLACRA - Seneca County
FLACRA - Wayne County
DePaul Community Services, Inc. - Wyoming County

Long Island
Federation of Organizations - Nassau County
Options for Community Living, Inc. - Nassau/Suffolk County
Association for Mental Health and Wellness - Suffolk County
Federation of Organizations - Suffolk County
New Ground, Inc. - Suffolk County
Transitional Services of NY- Long Island - Suffolk County
United Veterans Beacon House - Suffolk County

Hudson River Housing - Dutchess County
Access Supports for Living, Inc. - Orange County
Search for Change, Inc. - Putnam County
RUPCO - Ulster County
Community Housing Innovations - Westchester County

Mohawk Valley
DePaul Community Services, Inc. - Oneida County
JCTOD Outreach, Inc. - Oneida County
Municipal Housing Authority of Utica - Oneida County
Oneida Healthcare - Oneida County
Rescue Mission of Utica - Oneida County
Utica Center for Development - Oneida County
Catholic Charities Housing Office - Otsego County
Catholic Charities Housing Office - Schoharie County

New York City
ACMH, Inc. - Bronx County
The Bridge, Inc. - Bronx County
Bronxworks - Bronx County
CAMBA, Inc. - Bronx County
Comunilife, Inc. - Bronx County
Community Access, Inc. - Bronx County
Federation of Organizations - Bronx County
Hebrew Home for the Aged - Bronx County
New Destiny Housing Corporation - Bronx County
Project Renewal, Inc. - Bronx County
Samaritan Village - Bronx County
Services for the Underserved, Inc. - Bronx County
Unique People Services, Inc. - Bronx County
Urban Pathways - Bronx County
Women in Need - Bronx County
WSFSSH - Bronx County
Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service - Kings County
CAMBA, Inc. - Kings County
Concern for Independent Living - Kings County
Housing Works -Kings County
PSCH, Inc. - Kings County
Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Inc. - Kings County
AIDS Service Center of Lower Manhattan, Inc. - New York County
Barrier Free Living, Inc. - New York County
Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc. - New York County
West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing - New York County
CAMBA, Inc. - Queens County
Hour Children, Inc. - Queens County
PSCH, Inc. - Queens County
Project Hospitality -Richmond County
Bowery Residents Committee, Inc. - No County Specified
CAMBA, Inc. - No County Specified
Lantern Community Services, Inc. -No County Specified
Services for the Underserved, Inc. - No County Specified

North Country
Behavioral Health Services North, Inc. - Clinton County
ETC Housing Corporation -Clinton County
Citizen Advocates, Inc. - Franklin County
St. Joseph’s Addition Treatment and Recovery Centers - Franklin County
North Country Transitional Living Services, Inc. - Lewis County

Southern Tier
Opportunities for Broome - Broome County
YWCA Binghamton & Broome - Broome County
Economic Opportunity Program of Chemung County - Chemung County
SCAP, Inc. - Steuben County
Tompkins Community Action, Inc. - Tompkins County

Western New York
Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, Inc. - Erie County
Lt. Col. Matt Urban Center - Erie County
My Place Home for the Homeless - Erie County
YWCA of the Niagara Frontier - Niagara County


| What's New, Funding, New York State

New This Year: Case Management Certificate Accreditation


This year, the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) Institute and the Network will offer members the opportunity to accumulate the 25 credits needed to complete the Case Management Certificate Program by attending a six-module comprehensive training series designed to offer direct service staff a nuts-to-bolts overview of case management services.  Upon completion of all six trainings, licensed social workers who attend will qualify for 25 Continuing Education credits and certification of completion of the entire series.

CE credits are also available for a number of other trainings offered this year.

This semester’s calendar of workshops includes a set of Trauma Informed Care modules (10 Social Work CE Credits).  The first training overviews trauma and the related diagnosis as well as explores what Trauma Informed Services look like.  The second training emphasizes how to offer support to persons who have histories of trauma in a way that creates a positive therapeutic connection and keeps the individual feeling safe.

This semester’s offerings also includes a popular new training on Aging and Wellness in Supportive Housing, as well as some old favorites including Psychiatric Overview, Understanding Compulsive Hoarding and Coordinating Property Management and Social Services.

All trainings will be held at CUCS located at 198 East 121st Street, 5th floor.  Registration and sign-in starts at 9am.  Trainings start promptly at 9:30am and end at 3:30pm.  To qualify for Social Work Continuing Education credits, attendees must be there on time and stay through the entire training.

The Network and the CUCS Institute have developed this year’s training collaboration based on membership feedback and needs, providing Social Work or OASAS CE Credits for all trainings this year. 

Founded in 1979, the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) is a comprehensive human service agency and the nation’s largest provider of supportive housing social services.  The CUCS Institute is a leader in the provision of training to professionals in New York City and nationally.  The trainers are at the forefront of emerging research and train on a range of topics related to housing and homelessness, behavioral health, criminal justice and clinical practice.  The CUCS Institute is recognized as a continuing education provider by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work for licensed social workers and by New York State’s Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

For more information on registering or training content, please contact CUCS Institute.

| What's New, Network Events

Rebecca Sauer is the Supportive Housing Network of NY’s new Director of Policy and Planning


The Network is delighted to announce that Rebecca Sauer will be joining our staff as Director of Policy and Planning starting today. Ms. Sauer comes to us most recently from Related Management Company where she was the Senior Director overseeing the affordable housing programs for 2,300 units in four cities including New York. Before that, Ms. Sauer worked on creating affordable and supportive housing opportunities for The Actors Fund where she started as a Project Analyst and was later named their manager of Affordable Housing Initiatives. Barbara Davis, Chief Operating Officer of the Actor's Fund said, “Rebecca is that rare person who thinks about issues at the macro level but understands their impact at the micro level. She loves policy.”

Before joining the Actors Fund, Ms. Sauer worked at Local Initiatives Support Corporation as their Community Development Officer for Operations. There, among other responsibilities, she managed LISC’s youth housing program and brought program participants into the Network’s monthly Young Adult Provider meetings. Colleen Flynn, LISC NYC’s Director of Programs, said, “I am thrilled Rebecca will be bringing her skills and passion to the Network. As she did at LISC NYC, I know she will make a great contribution.”

Please join us in welcoming her to the Network!

Contact Rebecca via email.

| What's New

StoryCorps and the Network Celebrate the Power of Supportive Housing


In 2016, we continued our thriving collaboration with StoryCorps, the widely honored nonprofit that describes itself as “America’s oral history project,” and had the opportunity to record, preserve, and share the stories of 30 supportive housing tenants and staff members from Bailey House, Brooklyn Community Housing and Services (BCHS), Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), Community Access, Housing and Services, Inc. (HSI), Housing Plus Solutions, Project Renewal, Services for the UnderServed (SUS), The Door, The Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, St. Francis Friends of the Poor, Urban Pathways, and Volunteers of America – Greater New York.

Here are highlights from a few of these conversations - the audio links are typically just 3-5 minutes.

Dina Zempsky, Managing Director of StoryBooths, StoryCorps said “The Network - StoryCorps collaboration was an organic example of how storytelling supports the development of personal growth and self-efficacy.  StoryCorps was honored to participate in this unique project and to develop a treasure trove of recordings for the supportive housing community.” Sylvie Lubow, Associate Director, Community Engagement, of StoryCorps’ Military Voices initiative continued:  “While the stories ranged in topic and theme, many participants spoke about how their quality of life dramatically improved after being placed in supportive housing. It was a pleasure to work with the Network and to celebrate New York's vibrant supportive housing community through storytelling.”

Community Access tenant Shannon Landy said, "Sharing my story brought sunshine to me and to the many other other victims and advocates in the universe, giving us hope, inspiration and empowerment for our journey ahead. I represent a voice for all the victims who lost their battle to find a safe place to reside."

And here are some final thoughts from James Martin, Senior Housing Outreach Specialist for Downtown Goddard Riverside Outreach, who shared a conversation with Alexander Griffin, a veteran who spent decades homeless and living on the street, “It’s not often that we as people get the chance to sit down and replay stories of our past, and it can end up being very therapeutic when we do get that chance. Especially for people who have lived through the inherently traumatic event of having to sleep on the street. Reflecting back on those stories and experiences can help people move past those experiences and begin anew. Alexander’s story is remarkable. He spent thirty years sleeping on the street and is now doing amazing in his own apartment. That’s not an easy transition to make for anyone, and that’s often one of the biggest struggles we see people having. StoryCorps was able to further provide him with a chance to reflect on and assess the past events of his life. Recording  his story, and others like his, might provide someone out there with hope for their own lives.”

A heartfelt thanks to StoryCorps, and to all our nonprofit providers, staff members, and tenants who shared their stories as part of our partnership!

| What's New, Member News

The Network Applauds Governor Cuomo for Advancing MOU


Yesterday, Governor Cuomo directed the New York State Division of the Budget to execute a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to release approximately $2 billion in funding for the creation of more than 100,000 units of affordable and supportive housing over the next five years, including 6,000 units of supportive housing. It now is before the Legislature for their review.

In response to this action, Laura Mascuch, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York, released the following statement:

“The Supportive Housing Network of New York strongly applauds the Governor for issuing a Memorandum of Understanding that will support the creation of 6,000 units of supportive housing over the next 5 years, as the first installment of his 20,000 unit/15 year commitment. With 80,000 families and individuals homeless in our State, we commend the Governor for prioritizing this issue. We look forward to the Governor and Legislative leaders negotiating a final MOU that fully supports the development of this desperately needed housing for New York’s most vulnerable.”

The Network and our partners are urging the Governor and the Legislature to expedite the process and come to an agreement that supports the creation of 6,000 units of supportive housing over the next five years.

Media coverage here.

Please see the Governor’s press release:

For Immediate Release: 9/14/2016


State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed Robert Mujica, Director of the New York State Division of the Budget, to execute a memorandum of understanding to release $2 billion in funding to advance the creation of more than 100,000 units of affordable and supportive housing over the next five years. The executed agreement is now before the New York State Senate and Assembly for action.

“This agreement marks a major step forward in the state’s comprehensive efforts to combat the homelessness and affordable housing crisis in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “By advancing the state’s largest commitment to affordable and supportive housing, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers will be able to find a safe place to call home. I call on the State Legislature to join me in this effort, and sign the Memorandum of Understanding so we can fully realize the transformational benefits this historic investment will bring for New York’s most vulnerable residents.”

In his 2016 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo put forward a sweeping, $20 billion blueprint to combat homelessness and expand access to affordable housing in New York State. Approval of the MOU by the New York State Senate and Assembly will allow for the aggressive implementation of the Governor’s 5-year plan. The comprehensive initiative includes $10 billion dedicated to creating and preserving 100,000 units of affordable housing, and $10 billion dedicated to tackling homelessness by developing 6,000 new permanent supportive housing units and 1,000 emergency beds, and offering an expanded array of homelessness services.

The MOU, signed today, marks a major step forward in the state’s overall goal to ensure all New Yorkers have a safe, affordable place to call home. Agreement by all parties to the MOU will release in full $2 billion in funding appropriated in the 2016-17 State Budget toward the creation of new affordable and supportive housing units in New York.

Combined with the previously approved MOU, the following resources are available:

New Construction: Up to $1.4 billion to support the creation of new units across a spectrum of populations and geographic areas, including significant new investments to create senior housing, middle-income housing, and supportive housing across the state.

Preservation: Up to $565 million toward extending the affordability of existing units statewide and creating a large-scale financing program that specifically supports assets like public housing authorities in upstate communities. Up to $100 million in funding will be designated for state-approved NYCHA related projects and improvements.​ This is in addition to the $100 million in current state funding for NYCHA.

Homeownership: Up to $54 million to provide opportunities for new and continued homeownership throughout the state, including new and manufactured home programs and efforts to continue stabilizing communities hit by the foreclosure crisis.

Neighborhood Revitalization: Up to $10 million toward continued investments in our downtowns and villages throughout the state.

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