Yesterday, Governor Cuomo released the SFY 2021 Executive Budget.
With the state facing over a $6 billion budget gap this year, the overall budget areas for supportive housing fared well. This budget includes significant increases in capital programs including doubling funding for the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) and adding another $50 million to the Office of Mental Health (OMH) preservation capital program. There were also increases to service and operating programs including the OMH residential programs and OTDA’s NYS Supportive Housing Program.
Here is our first analysis of the various budget areas important to the supportive housing community. We will update you as more information becomes available.
FIVE YEAR HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS PLAN
Included in the Executive Budget is a re-appropriation of the state’s $2.5 billion five-year housing and homelessness plan that includes funding for 6,000 units of supportive housing over five years. This specifically includes $950 million in capital funding and $124.5 million for service and operating expenses for the first 6,000 units. Network Note: This upcoming year starting on April 1, 2020 will begin the final year of the five year commitment. While the Governor’s briefing book does mention a commitment to reaching the goal of 20,000 units, there is currently no funding in place for the remaining 14,000 units promised by the Governor.
OFFICE OF TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE
Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) DOUBLED!! $128 million. This is a $64 million increase from last year's budget. HHAP has long been under-funded and oversubscribed. We are thrilled to see this need reflected in the Executive Budget!
Homeless Housing Prevention Services Program $42.6 million. This is a $2.8 million INCREASE from last year’s final budget. 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
OMH Supportive Housing $20 million
$20 million INCREASE for existing supported housing and single residence occupancy programs. This is significantly less than what is needed to preserve existing housing across the state.
OMH Preservation Capital $60 million
The Budget adds another $60 million to maintain and preserve community-based residential facilities that allow people with mental illness to live in the most integrated setting possible.
HOMES & COMMUNITY RENEWAL (HCR)
Housing Trust Fund (HTF) - $44.2 million
HTF remained flat-funded as last year’s final budget.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (DOH)
Medicaid Redesign Team Supportive Housing Program (MRT) - $26 million
It appears that this program was seriously cut and that the $26 million in funding is meant to cover $63 million in programs, including funding for more than 1,500 existing scattered site units under OMH, OASAS, DOH and AIDS Institute.
OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST
PREVAILING WAGE – The Governor included language in the Executive Budget that would include prevailing wage requirements for construction projects in which at least 30% of a project is financed by public funds. Exempt from the proposal are:
- Construction work performed under a contract with a nonprofit that has a gross annual revenue and support of less than $5 million;
- Construction work performed on a supportive housing project “where no less than 35% of the residential units involve the provision of supportive services for vulnerable populations”;
- Construction work performed on an affordable housing project where no less than 30% of the units are affordable for households up to 80% of the AMI.
- Construction work is performed on a building paid for in whole or in part out of public funds on affordable units for purposes of ensuring that the affordable units are created or retained and are subject to a regulatory agreement with a local, state, or federal governmental entity
#3for5 Campaign – The budget did not support a 3% increase for all human services contracts for the next five years.
The budget now must be passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor no later than April 1st. In the next few weeks, the Senate and the Assembly will hold budget hearings and negotiate a final budget with the Governor. The Network’s advocacy in the upcoming weeks will focus on the proposed initiatives outlined above.