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NYS Releases RFP for 4th Round of ESSHI Funding


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.
The eligible target populations are families with a qualifying individual, individuals, and/or young adults who are both homeless* and who are identified as having an unmet housing need as determined by the Continuum of Care Program (CoC)/local planning entity/ other supplemental local, state and federal data, AND have one or more disabling conditions or other life challenges*. *Please refer to the Network's Funding Guide for definitions.
New York State will award up to $25,000 in services and operating funding annually for each qualifying individual.

What's New?

Award Allocations by Population Categories. Eligible populations are grouped into the following: 

Category One - (Chronic homelessness, SMI, SUD); 
Category Two - (Reentry, HIV, Youth/ Young Adult); 
Category Three - (DV, Military Service, Frail Elderly/ Seniors, I/DD) 

A minimum of 50% of the number of awards that will be issued pursuant to this RFP will be allocated to Category One; no more than 25% to Category Two; and no more than 25% to Category Three.

Homeless Definition was Modified. In order to be considered homeless for the purposes of this RFP, an individual must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. be an un-domiciled person (whether alone or as a member of a family) who is unable to secure permanent and stable housing without special assistance. This includes those who are inappropriately housed in an institutional facility and can safely live in the community and those young adults, survivors of domestic violence, and individuals with I/DD who are at risk of homelessness;
  2. be a youth or young adult who left foster care within the prior five years and who was in foster care at or over age 16, and who is without permanent and stable housing;
  3. be an adult or young adult reentering the community from incarceration or juvenile justice placement, who was released or discharged, and who is without permanent and stable housing; or
  4. be a young adult between the ages of 18 and 25 years of age without a permanent residence, including those aging out of a residential school for individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability. 

Projects Involving Capital Funding from New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Applicants that intend to apply to HPD for capital financing following receipt of a conditional ESSHI award must clearly specify the intended referral source in the ESSHI application. Prior to obtaining a committed ESSHI award, conditional awardees utilizing capital funding from HPD may be required to obtain written confirmation (e.g., soft commitment letter) from each agency administering the capital funding source applicable to the project that acknowledges and specifies the referral source(s) for the project.

Living Situations at Time of Referral. Acceptable living situations at time of referral include unsheltered homeless; sheltered homeless; prison; institutions (State Psychiatric Center or Developmental Center); hospital or nursing home*; medical respite; and OPWDD-eligible individuals who have been determined to meet the level of emergency need through the Certified Residential Opportunities review process. *Persons referred must have been homeless prior to placement in hospitals or nursing homes.

Important Dates

RFP Release Date: 8/16/19
Bidder’s Conferences: 9/3/19 and 9/5/19
Questions Dues: 9/11/19 by 2 p.m.
Questions Posted on Website: 9/18/19
Proposals Dues: 9/25/19 by 2 p.m.
Conditional Award Notifications: 11/6/19
Contract Start Date: TBD

Bidder's Conferences

Two Bidder’s Conferences indicated below have been scheduled to provide information regarding the RFP. Note that there will be a morning and afternoon session each day offering the same information.

Attendance at the Bidder’s Conference is not required to apply for ESSHI. Attendance at more than one session is discouraged due to limited seating. Pre-registration is not necessary. These dates are subject to change. Any changes will be announced on the OMH website.

Proposals for the 2019 ESSHI RFP are due on September 25, 2019. Visit the Network's Funding Guide for more details on the RFP.

| What's New, Funding, New York State

Guest Blog: Bring It Home Campaign Advocates for Mental Health Housing Evaluation Commission


Association for Community Living logo (left); Bring It Home

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.

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| What's New, Funding, New York State

19th Annual Supportive Housing Conference Draws Record Numbers for Learning and Networking


The 2019 Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference was an enormous success with over 1,800 registrants, 23 workshops in policy, finance, and social services, and an inspiring opening keynote.

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

2019 NYS Legislative Session Highlights


There were a number of bills for which the Network was advocating and following at the end of this year’s legislative session including rent regulation, prevailing wage, and two Office of Mental Health housing bills.

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| What's New, New York State

Syracuse Gains 30 New Supportive Housing Units Through Catherine Street Apartments


On May 22nd, an array of partners and supporters gathered in Syracuse to celebrate the opening of Catherine Street Apartments, a 50-unit building with 30 reserved for individuals with mental health disorders. The apartments were developed through a partnership between Network members Central New York Services, Inc. (CNYS) and CSD Housing, development consultants.

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| What's New, New York State, Member News, Openings

NYS HCR Announces 2018 Unified Funding Awards


On May 17th, NYS HCR announced its 2018 Unified Funding Awards. In addition to the three supportive housing projects funded in the early round announced in January, there were 15 projects awarded in the regular round, bringing the total number of supportive housing units to 484 — 22% of the total residential units funded. Network members are involved in 14 separate projects across the state.

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| What's New, Funding, New York State, New York City, Member News

The Network Testifies to NYS Legislature About Rent Regulation for Scattered Site Supportive Housing


On May 2nd, Network Executive Director Laura Mascuch provided testimony at the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Housing’s public hearing on rent-regulated housing. While thanking Assemblymembers Latoya Joyner and Steven Cymbrowitz for advancing Bill No. A07115, which would provide rent stabilization provisions to nonprofit housing providers’ new scattered site supportive housing units, she encouraged the sponsors to accept a friendly amendment to the bill that would extend the protections to the 14,000 existing scattered-site units and formerly homeless disabled families and individuals currently living there.

Laura also provided testimony on May 16th to the New York State Senate's Housing Committee's public hearing on rent regulation and tenant protection legislation chaired by Senator Brian Kavanagh.

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| What's New, New York State, New York City

The Network Gathers to Celebrate the Past Year in Supportive Housing


On April 11th, the Network gathered the supportive housing community for the 2019 Annual Meeting. An open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and images of supportive housing buildings newly opened in the last year set the scene for lively conversation with familiar and new faces. The group was able to hear from Senator Brian Kavanagh, Network Board Chair Brenda Rosen, Network Board Treasurer Ralph Fasano, and Executive Director Laura Mascuch.

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

The Network Hosts Siting Workshop for Members


On the morning of April 9th, 22 Network members gathered to learn more about the art of siting supportive housing. The workshop included presentations from Cynthia Stuart, the Network’s Chief Operating Officer, and Ralph Fasano, Executive Director of Concern for Independent Living, extensive discussion among members and an opportunity to examine and respond to fictional siting scenarios.

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

DePaul’s Skybird Landing Apartments Opens Doors to Residents


On March 14th, city, county, and state officials joined Network member DePaul to celebrate the opening of the Skybird Landing Apartments in Geneseo, a National Historic Landmark Village in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Named to honor Geneseo’s National Warplane Museum, Skybird Landing consists of 60 affordable and supportive one- and two-bedroom apartments spread across six new buildings.

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| What's New, New York State, Member News, Openings

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