Interviews, focus groups reveal the successes of a landmark supportive housing initiative
The Network has released a new report on the New York/New York III Supportive Housing Agreement, the landmark 2005 commitment to create 9,000 new units of supportive housing in 10 years.
The report, available here, synthesizes findings from interviews with more than 140 members of the supportive housing community. Taking Stock of the New York/New York III Supportive Housing Agreement: A Community View of the Achievements and Challenges of Implementing the Nation's Largest Supportive Housing Initiative offers an in-depth look at the initiative and explores key areas for growth and improvement for the next great partnership between New York City and State to end homelessness.
"Taking Stock confirms what many of us have known for years: That the New York/New York III Agreement has been a phenomenal engine to house formerly homeless New Yorkers," says Network Executive Director Ted Houghton. "We hope this report will serve as an aid to the supportive housing community, our government partners and other stakeholders as we seek to build upon NY/NY III with a successor agreement. After more than 30 interviews and seven focus groups, we're confident in calling NY/NY III a resounding public policy success."
The Network interviewed an array of stakeholders for this project, including representatives from all 10 of the government signatories of the agreement, supportive housing and shelter providers, NY/NY III tenants, advocates and private sector partners. The goal of the project was to provide a platform for this diverse group of stakeholders to offer feedback on the successes and challenges of the initiative and to elicit their guidance on how best to design future supportive housing agreements.
The report provides feedback on how NY/NY III can be improved, but consensus among the interview participants was overwhelmingly positive. Most of our interview subjects attributed the program's success to a few key factors:
- The unprecedented size, scope and scale of the program.
- The long-term nature of the agreement and how all of the agencies remained committed throughout the years.
- The broad array of vulnerable populations that were served, including youth and families.
- The prioritization and successful placements of chronically homeless people.
- The coordination of capital, service and operating awards that streamlined development, increased investor confidence and facilitated the creation of new financing models.
And as one interview participant put it best, "NY/NY III created a lot of units of beautiful, quality housing that gave people a new sense of humanity."
We are excited to share the findings with the supportive housing community, and we want to thank all those who participated in our research process. Most importantly, we want to congratulate everyone who played a role over the last eight years to house thousands of New York City's most vulnerable residents. It's a tremendous achievement. The Network looks forward to its continued partnership as NY/NY III wraps up and a discussion for a new agreement begins.