Categories: New York City
The report released by New York City confirms what the Network has been saying for years: that demand for supportive housing is huge and far outpaces available supply. It also suggests that we need to right-size the portfolio of supportive housing to better meet the needs of today’s unhoused population. At the same time, the City’s increased efficiencies in the referral and placement system have resulted in more and more New Yorkers being connected to critical housing and support.
It is an interesting snapshot in time showing the state of supportive housing in New York City, with many more households eligible for supportive housing than available units – reaffirming the urgent need to create more in every community. It also shows that applicants are presenting with more complex physical and behavioral health needs than many supportive housing providers are currently equipped to adequately support. Finally, while the report does not show applicant rejections, we can deduce that many applicants are electing not to move into certain types of supportive housing, emphasizing the need to center applicants’ choices and preferences in housing type and location.
These three takeaways send a loud message to policymakers: we need more supportive housing in every neighborhood, we need to increase service levels and access to critical community-based resources to match the service need, and we need to modernize old housing to meet contemporary needs. That is the only way we can solve this crisis and provide New Yorkers with the housing support and services they need to thrive.