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Executive Budget Proposes Devastating 15% Cuts to HUD

05.24.2017

On May 23rd, President Trump released his first budget proposal for FY 2018, which begins October 1, 2017.   While it provides more detail than the “skinny budget” short-form budget released in March, it slashes domestic spending dramatically and HUD programs are specifically under attack.  Whole block grant programs (which are critical to the production of supportive housing), including Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships are eliminated, along with the Interagency Council on Homelessness.  It also strips funding from the National Housing Trust Fund, funding specifically targeted to building affordable housing to the nation’s poorest households. The Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) receives no new vouchers in the president’s budget proposal.

Existing rental assistance programs are impacted.  Tenant and Project Based rental assistance is cut by 5%.  More than 250,000 households will lose housing assistance that protects them from eviction, at least 25,000 in New York State alone.  Even the popular and effective McKinney-Vento homeless assistance grant program faces a 5% cut, which would shutter existing supportive housing programs next year.

Beyond HUD cuts, this budget proposal does not spare even safety net programs.  Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Program and even Social Security Disability face cuts.  Fortunately, it is up to Congress to produce a budget, and many members of Congress have already declared this budget dead on arrival.  Still, your representatives need to hear from you.  Please follow the links below from the National Low Income Housing Coalition to weigh in.

Take action now:

Call your members of Congress and urge them to protect critical resources for affordable housing. Here is a script for you to use:

Please reject the president's proposed budget that slashes HUD investments that provide millions of Americans with affordable homes. These resources keep roofs over the heads of low income families, seniors, people with disabilities, low-wage workers and other vulnerable people. We need a budget that fights homelessness, not one that increases it. Funding affordable housing is a smart investment that leads to better health and education outcomes and boosts economic mobility and the local economy. Our communities are stronger because of HUD programs. Instead of making harmful cuts, I urge you to work with your colleagues to lift the spending caps on critical domestic programs like those at HUD.

Email and tweet members of Congress. 

To read about the finalized FY 17 HUD budget, click here.

| What's New, Funding, Federal


Governor Signs Legislation for $1 Billion to Build 6,000 Units of Supportive Housing

05.19.2017


Governor Andrew Cuomo with advocates at the bill signing.

Yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo, accompanied by Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Gary LaBarbera, and Breaking Ground's President and CEO Brenda Rosen, signed a historic bill announcing $2.5 billion for the creation and preservation of 6,000 new units of supportive housing and over 110,000 units of affordable housing over the next five years, in the ballroom of Breaking Ground's The Prince George. This capital funding is the first installment in the Governor's unprecedented commitment to build 20,000 new units of supportive housing over the next fifteen years.

A standing-room-only crowd of advocates, government representatives, and members of the building and construction trades, loudly cheered the Governor as he outlined his vision for a progressive New York, following in the footsteps of FDR, "who said, basically, 'I don't care how those at the top are doing. That's not how we quantify success. It's how the people on the bottom are doing, which really tells you whether or not you are a success.' " Governor Cuomo pointed out that The Prince George, a 402-unit supportive housing residence that had been a former welfare hotel, is a model of "exactly what we should be doing" - investing in quality supportive housing.

"Providing New Yorkers with truly affordable housing has long been a cornerstone for the New York State Assembly Majority's Families First agenda," said Speaker Heastie. "The cost of living in New York has left many of our most vulnerable residents homeless or in jeopardy of homelessness and this legislation will help us stem the tide and make meaningful change in our communities. Safe, secure, and affordable housing is essential to our communities, and I would like to give special thanks to Assemblymember Cymbrowitz, chair of the Housing Committee, and to all the Assembly Majority for their continued commitment to this issue."

Network Executive Director Laura Mascuch said "With this funding, New York State has demonstrated a historic commitment to those in our state who are most vulnerable. This funding is a powerful investment in the lives of homeless New Yorkers who long for a safe and affordable place to live where they can take care of themselves and their families and fully contribute to their communities. The supportive housing community congratulates Governor Cuomo for his vision and leadership in enacting a bold supportive and affordable housing program."

| What's New, Funding, New York State


Federal Budget Update

05.15.2017

President Trump signed the final FY 2017 budget May 5th, in the form of a bi-partisan supported omnibus spending package. HUD programs are funded from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 at levels that will ensure that most key supportive housing programs will be sustained. 

As indicated in the chart below, the adopted budget did not stray far from the original proposals made by both houses of Congress in the beginning of the budget process.                                    

We are excited to see a $133 million increase in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant program, a 6% over FY 2016 levels.  The House and Senate split the difference between their respective funding levels to reach this compromise, demonstrating that there continues to be broad support for this program that provides essential funding to local Continuua of Care, including $196 million in New York State.

Additionally, the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program also saw an increase of 6% in this budget.  The Section 202 program for seniors received a 16% increase, with $10 million available for new projects or preservation of existing units.  HUD 811, housing for people with disabilities, fell by 3%.  The 811 program has not funded any new programs in New York State for almost a decade.  The HOME program funding remains flat this year.  Based on the early reports on next year’s executive budget plan, HOME continues to be in danger.

Both the Tenant and Project Based Voucher Programs saw no real growth.  Early analysis indicates that there should be enough funding to preserve existing rental assistance units from cuts by attrition.  The tenant based voucher funding includes 4,000 new Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers.

One last bright spot is the reauthorization of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness for one year with a slight increase in funding.

The Network fully anticipates that we will be working closely with our Members of Congress over the summer and into the fall, to ensure that affordable housing and programs that address homelessness fare well in seems likely to be a contentious budget year.  We will be organizing lobby visits again to coincide with the National Alliance to End Homelessness conference on July 19, and urge our members to join us in Washington.

KEY HUD PROGRAM FUNDING (IN $ MILLIONS)

| Funding, Federal


Thanks to Our Government Partners for $1 Billion in Supportive Housing Capital!

04.28.2017


Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi, Senator Cathy Young, Senator Betty Little, and Assembly Member Steve Cymbrowitz being recognized for their critical support.

A press conference was held April 26th at the Capitol in Albany to thank our government partners and celebrate the successful culmination of the Campaign 4 NY Housing.  We now have an unprecedented capital commitment for 6,000 new supportive housing units over five years from New York State.

Senator Cathy Young, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee acknowledged the importance of supportive housing and the hard fight to achieve this victory.  We thanked Senator Young for co-leading the Senate support letter and being a real champion of supportive housing in her Western New York district.

Senator Betty Little, Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, spoke about how this program will address homelessness across New York, including our rural areas.  We thanked Senator Little for pushing for a comprehensive affordable and supportive housing plan while protecting the supportive housing commitment.

Assembly Member Steve Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, talked with pride about his experience as a nonprofit supportive housing developer and the many projects he funded while at HPD.  We thanked Chair Cymbrowitz for leading the Assembly in winning the largest supportive housing plan in our state’s history.

Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi, Chair of the Social Services Committee, finished the press conference by thanking the Campaign for a hard fought win.  We thanked him for his early support and leadership on many fronts, including hosting regional briefings that allowed the Campaign to make a compelling case for supportive housing to legislators across the state.

St. Catherine’s Center for Children of Albany crafted a thank you card for the legislature which will be placed on the supportive housing wall in Assembly Member Hevesi’s conference room.

After the event, Laura Mascuch and Steve Piasecki  made personal visits to thank some of the key legislative staff who made this victory possible.

| What's New, Funding, New York State


NYS Budget Provides Funding for Five Years of Supportive & Affordable Housing

04.07.2017


Speaker Heastie, Governor Cuomo, and Majority Leader Flanagan

The Network would like to thank Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, and Majority Leader Flanagan for funding five years of supportive and affordable housing to address New York’s homeless and affordable housing crisis.  On behalf of our community, our more than 200 supportive housing providers and the thousands more vulnerable homeless people they will now be able to serve, thank you.  This is a great day for New York.

The final FY2017-2018 budget details:

5 YEAR HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS PLAN

A total of $2.5 billion, including a re-appropriation of last year’s $1.97 billion, is contained in a 5 year housing and homelessness plan that includes funding for 6,000 units of supportive housing and 100,000 units of affordable housing. This final budget ends the requirement included in last year’s budget that the Executive and Legislative leaders negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to spend the money.    The programs listed in the budget as part of this $2.5 billion appropriation include:

  • Supportive Housing. $950 million for the construction of 6,000 or more supportive housing units throughout the State;
  • New Construction. $472 million for new construction or adaptive reuse of rental housing affordable to households that earn up to 60 percent of area median income (AMI);
  • Senior Housing. $125 million for developing or rehabilitating affordable housing targeted to low-income seniors, aged 60 and above;
  • Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund (CIF). $45 million for mixed-use affordable housing developments that may  include retail, commercial or community development components;
  • Middle Income Housing. $150 million for new construction, adaptive reuse, or reconstruction of rental housing affordable to households that earn up to 130 percent of AMI;
  • Affordable Housing Preservation. $146 million for substantial or moderate rehabilitation of affordable multi-family rental housing currently under a regulatory agreement;
  • Mitchell-Lama Rehabilitation. $75 million to preserve and improve Mitchell-Lama properties throughout the State;
  • Public Housing. $125 million for substantial or moderate rehabilitation and/or the demolition and replacement through new construction of public housing authority developments outside of New York City;
  • Small Building Construction. $62.5 million for rehabilitation and/or the demolition and replacement through new construction of buildings of 5 to 40 units;
  • Home Ownership. $41.5 million for promoting home ownership among families of low and moderate income and stimulating the development, stabilization, and preservation of New York communities;
  • Mobile and Manufactured Homes. $13 million for mobile and manufactured home programs;
  • Main Street Programs. $10 million for stimulating reinvestment in properties located within mixed-use commercial districts located in urban, small town, and rural areas of the state;
  • New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). $200 million for projects and improvements related at housing developments owned or operated by NYCHA.
  • New York City Preservation and Development. $100 million for preservation of multifamily housing with a preference for not-for profit agencies with community development experience.

In addition to the capital funding, $124.5 million for service and operating expenses for the first 6,000 units over the next 5 years was also re-appropriated from last year’s budget. This includes $74.5 million from JPMorgan settlement funds and an additional $50 million from last year’s budget.  There is no new funding committed for services and operating in this year’s budget.

Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance

  • Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) - $64 million ($500,000 INCREASE)
    The budget funds the HHAP capital development program at $64 million which is a $500,000 INCREASE from last year. A new provision added to this year’s budget allows up to $1 million of HHAP funding to be used for emergency shelter repairs in local social services districts with a population of less than five million. Also, while not part of this appropriation line, it should be noted that HHAP did not receive any additional MRT funding.  Until last year, $10 million in MRT capital had been added to HHAP in each of the previous 3 years.
  • Homeless Housing Prevention Services Program  - $35.38 million ($600,000 INCREASE)
    The budget increased the Homeless Housing Prevention Services (HHPS) Program by $600,000 from last year’s final budget.  HHPS funds the New York State Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP), the Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP) and the Operational Support for AIDS Housing (OSAH) Program. 

HOMES & COMMUNITY RENEWAL

  • Housing Trust Fund - $65.2 million  ($11 million INCREASE)
    The budget INCREASED the Housing Trust Fund by $11 million, up from $54.2 million last year.  These funds can be used for capital construction of both supportive and affordable housing.

OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH

  • Provide $10 million to Enhance Support for Existing Residential Programs. The budget increases funds for supported housing and single residence occupancy programs.

OMH/OASAS/OPWDD WORKFORCE

  • Increased salaries for direct care, direct support professionals who work in OPWDD, OMH and OASAS funded programs by 3.25% this January 1, 2018 and by another 3.25% in April 1, 2018. Increased salaries for clinical staff working in those same community agencies by April 1, 2108.
  • The budget invested $17 million to support the direct cost of FY 2018 minimum wage increases for direct care, direct support, and other workers at not-for-profits that provide services on behalf of OPWDD, OMH, and OASAS.
  • The budget language defers the COLA increase for 2017 until 2018.

| What's New, Funding, New York State


Federal Budget Update

03.20.2017

On March 16th, President Trump released a budget blueprint that proposes $6.2 billion in cuts to HUD funding. Overall, these cuts represent a 13.2% decrease in funding compared to FY16 levels: the largest cuts in housing assistance since the Reagan administration, which ushered widespread homelessness. These cuts are unacceptable and we are committed to fighting them.

The Trump budget eliminates the following programs:

The HOME program is a critical resource for supportive housing in New York, serving as a capital subsidy for congregate developments, as well as providing rental assistance to the homeless. Nationwide, every $1 of HOME capital funding leverages $4.20 of additional local public and private funding. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) fund cities and towns across the state for capital projects and programs benefiting low- and moderate-income New Yorkers.

The budget blueprint presents questions: it outlines $4.1 billion in spending cuts but leaves the remaining $2.1 billion unexplained. According to the document released by the White House, the president’s budget “provides over $35 billion for HUD’s rental assistance programs and proposes reforms that reduce costs while continuing to assist 4.5 million low-income households.” It is unclear at this time how funding will be spread out over various voucher programs and where exactly cuts will be felt. The budget is also silent on Homeless Assistance, known as McKinney Vento funding.

The president’s budget does eliminate the US Interagency Council on the Homeless, which is charged with coordinating across the federal government to end homelessness.

Dr. Ben Carson was sworn in as HUD Secretary on March 2nd. He has started his “listening tour” across America. The Network, along with our fellow advocates, has invited him to New York to witness firsthand the success of our affordable and supportive housing programs and the devastating impacts these cuts would have.

The president’s proposal is subject to Congressional approval. The Network will be in Washington D.C. in early April with the National Low Income Housing Coalition, advocating for programs critical to supportive housing to members of the House and Senate. We will keep you posted as opportunities arise for you to participate directly in advocacy.

Please see our Executive Director Laura Mascuch's opinion piece in City and State's Slant.

| What's New, Funding, Federal


New York State Budget Update

03.17.2017

This week, the Assembly and Senate approved their one-house budgets, which serve as their spending proposals in response to the Executive budget released in January.  There are no major changes to the programs important to supportive housing from the Executive proposal.   Here is a summary of key provisions.

5 YEAR HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS PLAN

Both the Senate and Assembly include a re-appropriation of last year’s $1.97 billion five-year housing and homelessness plan that includes funding for 6,000 units of supportive housing and 50,000 units of affordable housing over five years.  The five-year funding for supportive housing is the first installment on the Governor’s pledge of creating 20,000 units of supportive housing over the next fifteen years. However, the Senate reinstated language calling for a memorandum of understanding, which was left out of the other two proposals.  The Senate also failed to provide any detail about how that body proposes spending the $2.5 billion.  Here is a side by side comparison of the three plans:

In addition to the capital funding, $124.5 million for service and operating expenses for the first 6,000 units over the next 5 years was also re-appropriated in all three budgets. This includes $74.5 million from JPMorgan settlement funds and an additional $50 million from last year’s budget.  There is no new funding committed for services and operating in this year’s budget.

The Network continues to call on the governor and legislature to finish their jobs and finalize this five year agreement to include capital funding for 6,000 units of supportive housing by the March 31st budget deadline.

OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH

  • Both Assembly and Senate one-house budgets support the Executive plan to provide $10 million to enhance support for existing residential programs. The budget increases funds for supported housing and single residence occupancy programs. However, the Senate delays implementation until January 2018.

The Network will continue to fight for OMH budget increases for staff and programs, including our $35.7 million ask for rate increases for all OMH Housing. This includes those NY/NY 1 and 2 programs that have been left behind for too long. Stay tuned for information about a call-in campaign to legislators early next week.  

Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance

  • Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) - $64 million - $500,000 INCREASE
    The Assembly and Senate one-house budgets both fund the HHAP capital development program at $64 million which is a $500,000 INCREASE from last year, same as the Executive.  A new provision added to this year’s budget allows up to $1 million of HHAP funding to be used for emergency shelter repairs in local social services districts with a population of less than five million.
  • Homeless Housing Prevention Services Program  - $35.38 million - $600,000 INCREASE
    The Assembly and Senate kept the Executive’s modest $600,000 increase to the Homeless Housing Prevention Services (HHPS) Program.  HHPS funds the New York State Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP), the Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP) and the Operational Support for AIDS Housing (OSAH) Program.  The Assembly specified that the increase would go to the NYSSHP program.

The Network will continue to press for an additional $4.2 million in NYSSHP as part of the final budget deal.

HOMES & COMMUNITY RENEWAL

  • Housing Trust Fund - $65.2 million  - $11 million INCREASE
    The Executive budget proposes INCREASING the Housing Trust Fund by $11 million, up from $54.2 million last year.  These funds can be used for capital construction of both supportive and affordable housing.  Both Assembly and Senate support this.

Minimum Wage Increases for Direct Care Workers

All three budgets support the direct cost of FY 2018 minimum wage increases for direct care, direct support, and other workers at not-for-profits that provide services on behalf of OPWDD, OMH, and OASAS.

Delays Cost of Living Increases for Staff

The Assembly restores the COLA increases that the Executive and Senate defer.

The final budget now must be passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor no later than March 31st. In the next few weeks, the Senate and the Assembly meeting in joint committees and negotiate with the Governor.

| What's New, Funding, New York State


HHAP Awards Go to Three Network Members

02.24.2017

On February 1, 2017, the Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation awarded funding from the State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Homeless Housing Assistance Program for three supportive housing projects being developed by Network members. Together these projects will provide 142 new units of supportive housing.

Project Renewal was awarded $6.2 million to create 71 units of supportive housing in a new residence in Bedford Park, Bronx.  This project will be one of the final projects to be built under the expiring NY/NY 3 agreement.

New Destiny was awarded $5 million to build 23 units of supportive housing for homeless women and families in Crotona Park, Bronx.

West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSSH) was awarded  $3.1 million to help build Mill Brook Terrace in Mott Haven, Bronx. The new residence will provide supportive housing for 48 homeless seniors.  

In addition, both New Destiny and WSFSSH were awarded conditional awards last September for services and operating funds for these new residences in the first round of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, and should be approved as permanent funding as the projects open.

Congratulations to all!

| Funding, New York State


NYS Receives $196 Million in HUD Continuum of Care Awards

01.27.2017

On December 20, 2016, HUD announced the 2016 Continuum of Care (CoC) awards, both renewals and new awards. This returns the program to a regular grant cycle that allows projects that need to be renewed annually to have confidence that they will be funded before the calendar turns.  

New York State was awarded a total of $196 million, more than 10% of the national total of $1.95 billion, for 421 projects in 26 Continuua of Care. The overall dollar value of New York State awards is 7% below last year’s total of $209 million.  The primary reason for this net loss is related to a larger amount of new bonus projects being funded: the past two rounds were multiple year awards, which are not yet up for renewal. 

74 new programs were funded in NYS, including 20 new supportive housing projects.  Other awards went to: rapid rehousing projects (a program to reduce shelter stays by providing short-term assistance to regain permanent housing); coordinated entry (to design and build intake and admissions processes for the Continuum);  and planning (for operations of the Continuum).

All of the currently funded programs, including permanent supportive housing that makes up most of them,  will be renewed based on performance rankings established by HUD and implemented by the CoC.   

| What's New, Funding, Federal


Network Hosts a Panel with State Government Partners

01.25.2017


Laura Mascuch, Marian Zucker, Moira Tashjian, Rick Umholtz, Bret Garwood at the Network panel discussion.

On Tuesday, January 24th the Network hosted a panel discussion with our state government partners about the new ways New York State is implementing its supportive housing program through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) and coordinating capital programs: NYS Homes & Community Renewal's Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP) and the Office of Temporary Disability & Assistance Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP). The event was held at JP Morgan Chase Bank in NYC and had over 100 Network members attend.

Panelists included: Bret Garwood, Senior Vice President, Multifamily, NYS Homes & Community Renewal; Moira Tashjian, Associate Commissioner, NYS Office of Mental Health, and Chair of the ESSHI Interagency Workgroup; Rick Umholtz, Director for the Bureau of Housing and Support Services, NYS Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance and Marian Zucker, President, Finance & Development, NYS Homes & Community Renewal.  The Network’s Executive Director, Laura Mascuch, moderated.

Panelists covered details about ESSHI, SHOP and HHAP including how these programs all intersect with one another, how to decide what capital resources to apply for, ESSHI timeframes, etc.  Panelists also discussed what's next for 2017 and answered questions about how to best access and use this new program.

In 2016, Governor Cuomo announced a commitment to fund 20,000 units of supportive housing over the next 15 years.  As part of this commitment, NYS is rolling out the development of 1,200 units a year across the state.  To do this, they created a brand new services and operating program called the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) intended to be coordinated with various state and local capital resources. The Network is working with our members, government partners and stakeholders in the private sector to help build capacity in the supportive housing community to ensure we can meet the state's goal to develop and fund 1,200 units a year over the next 5 years and a total of 20,000 units over the next 15.

Special thank you to JPMorgan Chase Bank for graciously hosting and sponsoring the event.

| What's New, Funding, New York State, Network Events


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