The Governor and Legislature reached a final budget agreement yesterday with several budget bills beginning to pass this week. Below is the Network’s first glimpse of the budget areas important to supportive housing. We will update our members as we learn more details.
Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI)
$250 million in capital is appropriated for Year 6 of the state’s commitment to create 20,000 units of supportive housing over 15 years. This includes $186 million from Homes & Community Renewal and $64 million from OTDA’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program. It also re-appropriates the $950 million for the first 5 years of capital funding and services and operating funding. We look forward to seeing a new ESSHI Year 6 RFP out this spring!
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP)
HHAP is funded in the final budget at $128 million, inclusive of the $64 million listed above.
Office of Mental Health Preservation Capital Program
The final budget adds another $60 million to maintain and preserve existing OMH community-based residential facilities.
Hotel/Commercial Space Conversion
The final budget includes a $100 million appropriation at Homes & Community Renewal to support the financing of conversions of commercial and hotel properties into permanent affordable housing in NYC. Program details will be subject to further legislative action. More details to follow.
OPERATING AND SERVICES PROGRAMS
OTDA Homeless Housing Prevention Services Program (HHPS)
HHPS is funded at $45 million which is a $2.5 million increase from last year. HHPS funds the New York State Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP), the Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP) and the Operational Support for AIDS Housing (OSAH) Program.
Office of Mental Health Supportive Housing
The final budget preserves last year’s increase of $20 million for existing OMH residential programs, but added no additional funding. This increase will be retroactive to January, 2021. We are awaiting details from the Office of Mental Health on how that funding will be allocated to the various OMH residential programs.
MRT Supportive Housing Program
The final budget includes a 2-year appropriation of $126 million fully funding the existing MRT Supportive Housing Programs.
OTHER PROGRAM UPDATES
Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program of 2021 (CERAP)
The final bill includes language enacting the “Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CERAP),” the state’s new rent relief program that will be funded from federal stimulus funding. OTDA will administer the program.
We are currently unclear if supportive housing and community unit tenants will be eligible for funding and will keep you posted as more information becomes available.
Please see here a comprehensive summary from Enterprise Community Partners outlining the details of the new program.
1% Cost of Living Adjustment for “O Agency” Contracts
The final budget includes a 1% COLA for OMH, OASAS, OCFS, OTDA, OPWDD and SOFA contracts. More details to follow.
Codifies Sales Tax Exemptions for Affordable Housing
The final budget codifies the eligibility of the sales tax exemption for not-for-profit Housing Development Fund Corporations, helping further support the development of affordable housing projects.
Creation of the Office of Addiction and Mental Health Services
The final budget did not include language to integrate the Office of Addiction Services and Supports and the Office of Mental Health into a new Office of Addiction and Mental Health Services.
On behalf of the Network and our members, we would like to extend an enormous thank you to Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Housing Chairs Senator Kavanagh and Assembly member Cymbrowitz, Social Services Chairs Senator Persaud and Assembly member Rosenthal and Mental Health Chairs Senator Brouk and Assembly member Gunther and all of the Executive and Legislative staff who worked tirelessly to get this critically important budget done. We are forever grateful for your continued commitment to supportive housing.