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.Continue Reading
Ahead of the July 1st start of the City’s Fiscal Year 2020, the Mayor and City Council reached a handshake deal on a budget of $92.8 billion on June 14th.
While there were some victories for housing and human services, the budget fails to provide funding for two critical priorities championed by the Network and our partners.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
On April 11th, the Network joined the supportive housing community for its 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, Executive Director Laura Mascuch, and Network Board Treasurer Ralph Fasano.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
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.Continue Reading
The final $175 billion NYS budget passed early on April 1, 2019 and included big-ticket items including bail reform, congestion pricing, a permanent property tax cap, and a ban on single use plastic bags. In the areas of housing and human services, the final budget reflected largely what was proposed by the Governor in January.
Below is the Network’s summary and comparison chart of the budget areas important to supportive housing.Continue Reading