Over 140 supportive housing providers, developers and tenants came to Albany on February 25th to call on the Governor and the Legislature to ensure the state commits to the next phase of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) in the SFY 2020-21 budget expected to be passed on April 1st.
Network members met with over ninety legislators and staff to ask for support for both a commitment in this year’s budget for Phase II of ESSHI while also advocating for rate increases in OMH housing, particularly scattered site supportive housing, and also increases to human service contracts via the #3for5 campaign request for a 3% increase for all human services contracts for the next five years.
Providers and tenants were also asking the Legislature to support the Governor’s proposal to double the Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) from $64 million to $128 million and the $2.8 million increase to the appropriation line that supports the NYS Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP).
The Network’s lobby day was held in “the Well” of the Legislative Office Building’s this year to help showcase supportive housing and answer questions from Legislators and staff as they walk through this main area of the Legislative Office Building. We highlighted a dozen different supportive housing residences across the state and handed out information about supportive housing to passersbys.
Housing Chairs’ Senator Kavanagh and Assembly member Cymbrowitz and Social Service Chairs’ Senator Persaud and Assembly member Hevesi addressed the attendees over lunch voicing the need for more supportive housing. Senator Robert Jackson and Assembly member Carmen Arroyo also joined us and addressed the more than 140 providers and tenants in attendance.
The Assembly and Senate will be putting out their one house budget proposals in the upcoming weeks with an anticipated final budget to be passed on April 1st.
See photos from the day here.