Mayor Announces Supportive Housing Task Force

Categories: New York City

Mayor Announces Supportive Housing Task Force image


Task force will help the city implement its plan to create 15,000 units of supportive housing over the next fifteen years.

On January 12, Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Catholic Charities’ Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Residence to announce the formation of a Supportive Housing Task Force to help the city implement its plan to create 15,000 units of supportive housing over the next fifteen years. The Mayor was joined by HRA Commissioner Steve Banks, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been and many of the new task force members. The announcement is a momentous step forward in the preservation and development of supportive housing across New York.

“The creation of 15,000 supportive apartments means giving 15,000 individuals the best possible opportunity to overcome deep challenges like mental illness, homelessness and substance misuse,” said Mayor de Blasio. “It means thousands of people off the street, out of shelter, away from the revolving door of the criminal justice system and emergency rooms. As the Bishop Sullivan Residence demonstrates, supportive housing is a proven, cost-effective approach.”

At the ceremony, two residents of Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Residence, Ms. Flowers and Mr. Harper, spoke movingly about how integral supportive housing has been in transforming their lives and giving them a sense of hope and home. 

The task force will be chaired by Commissioner Banks, Commissioner Been, and the Supportive Housing Network of NY’s Executive Director, Laura Mascuch.  In her comments, Ms. Mascuch noted that her first job out of college was at that very site, working as an Activity Director for Catholic Charities, and testified that she has seen first-hand how supportive housing is the humane and cost-effective solution in ending homelessness amongst the most vulnerable.

The purpose of the new Supportive Housing Task Force will be to serve as an expert panel of advisors to the City, offering innovative ways to develop and deliver supportive housing by leveraging lessons learned from past supportive housing endeavors, and finding new, creative approaches for both development and service delivery; to help streamline processes for supportive housing to maximize efficiencies and eliminate bottlenecks among City agencies, developers, service providers and clients; to develop strategies to better tailor services to the needs of various supportive housing populations; and to act as an ongoing partner and counterweight, supporting and challenging the City to realize a higher quality, better coordinated, supportive housing system.

The Mayor also reviewed some of the details of the plan he announced in November. It will target even more vulnerable New Yorkers than previous plans, including homeless veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and street homeless individuals. The City’s 15,000-unit plan is comprised of roughly 7,500 newly-constructed, congregate units and 7,500 scattered site units. The plan will cost $2.6 billion in capital funds over the next 15 years to develop the 7,500 congregate units. Of the total capital costs, approximately $1 billion will be a City cost – and all but $380 million has already been budgeted through Housing New York. The remaining capital costs – approximately $1.6 billion – will be offset with low-income tax credits, and other private sources. There is also approximately $96 million in net operating costs over the Financial Plan (through Fiscal Year 19) – starting at $8.8 million annually in the first year and ramping up.

Task force members include:

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