The 14th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference was the largest, most attended event in the Network's history. The bulk of the day consisted of the following 23 workshops. Scroll down to learn more about each workshop. Click the names of individual presenters to view their PowerPoint presentation slides. We'll be adding video, audio and more from these workshops in the weeks ahead, so check back soon!
Workshop Series A
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio released an ambitious plan last month to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years. The $41 billion plan covers everything from zoning regulation changes to the financing tools, partnerships and system changes that will be needed to make this plan a reality. The panel will discuss the big-picture aspects of the plan, as well as focus on the role of supportive housing. Representatives from the administration will be joined by the Chair of the City Council Housing and Buildings Committee, Housing First! leadership and a member of the New York City Council. One of the preeminent housing scholars in New York City will moderate.
- Vicki Been, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development
- Eric Enderlin, Deputy Commissioner for Development, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development
- Richard Froehlich, COO and General Counsel, NYC Housing Development Corporation
- Todd Gomez, Northeast Region Executive, Community Development Banking Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- Jumaane D. Williams, Chair, Committee on Housing and Buildings, NY City Council
Moderator: Ingrid Gould Ellen, Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning and Faculty Director, NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
While supportive housing was developed as a way to combat homelessness, New York State has expanded the model’s role to meet a number of additional objectives. Hear directly from policymakers about the ways in which supportive housing is helping the state revitalize its urban and rural areas, redesign its Medicaid system and meet its Olmstead and de-institutionalization goals. Four high-level members of the Cuomo administration will address how supportive housing is helping NYS end homelessness and meet other goals.
- Jason A. Helgerson, NYS Director of Medicaid, NYS Dept. of Health
- Robert Myers, Ph.D., Senior Deputy Commissioner and Director, Division of Adult Services, State Psychiatric Centers, and Managed Care, NYS Office of Mental Health
- Kristin M. Proud, Commissioner, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
- Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO, NYS Homes and Community Renewal
Moderator: William Traylor, President, Richman Housing Resources LLC
The thousands of youth in NYC either transitioning out of foster care or battling homelessness face complex barriers as they struggle to become successful adults. But with new leadership in New York City and strong partners in Washington, there’s hope on the horizon. This session explores innovative programs and interventions for disadvantaged young adults. Join two newly-appointed NYC youth commissioners, a young adult in supportive housing and leading experts for a wide-ranging discussion on how NYC can better serve its vulnerable young people.
- Matthew Aronson, Youth Subject Matter Expert, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
- Eric Brettschneider, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Administration for Children’s Services
- Bill Chong, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Youth and Community Development
- Andre Fuller, Resident, Jasper Hall, Lantern Community Services
Moderator: Gail Nayowith, Executive Director, SCO Family of Services
Panelists will discuss projects on Long Island and in Lockport that combined the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) with other capital funding sources to develop residences that meet unique community needs. Participants will also share insights into some of the operational issues that need to be considered when developing a non-urban project.
- Allison Covino, Director, Community Follow-up Program, Options for Community Living
- Brett Hebner, Assistant Director, Bureau of Housing and Support Services, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
- Ben Lockwood, Vice President, Business Development, Housing Visions
- Georgia Kuhen, Director of Mental Health Residences, Options for Community Living
Moderator: Deborah Damm O’Brien, Executive Director, Catholic Charities Housing Office of Albany
What do we mean by housing stability? How can we more accurately assess how tenants are doing, so we can improve services? For the last two years, Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC) has been implementing an evidence-based assessment tool developed in Oregon that has transformed the way the organization delivers services in housing. The implementation has been so successful that BRC is expanding its use to all of its housing programs. Come learn about this new tool, from both a management and staff perspective.
- Lynden Bond, HomePlus Crisis Coordinator, Bowery Residents’ Committee
- Heather Donahue, Program Development Coordinator, Bowery Residents’ Committee
- Anat Leonard, Deputy Executive Director, Housing Services, Bowery Residents’ Committee
Moderator: Yves Ades, Senior Vice President for Practice Excellence, Services for the UnderServed
Over the last decade, many organizations have adopted a housing first or harm reduction approach to housing vulnerable individuals, including those coping with chronic substance abuse. But making this cultural shift can be challenging: frontline employees face day-to-day ethical issues; program directors must shift the organizational culture from the goal of recovery to the goal of housing stability; executives must explain to boards, funders and other stakeholders why resources are being allocated in this new way. This panel will focus on how to meet the challenges of incorporating this approach into your organization.
- Michael Pisa, Director of Residential Services, Catholic Charities of Cortland County
- Henri Williams, Director of Housing, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
- Rita Zimmer, Executive Director, Housing + Solutions
Moderator: Kevin O’Connor, Executive Director, Joseph’s House and Shelter
Panelists in this workshop will discuss innovative medical respite programs created to meet the needs of people who no longer require acute hospital care, but have no stable, safe place to stay while they recover. Learn about two such programs in the metropolitan area, get the national view on medical respite and discuss new opportunities for creating respite programs in New York.
- Alison Cunningham, Executive Director, Columbus House, Inc.
- Sabrina Edgington, Program and Policy Specialist, National Healthcare for the Homeless Council
- Rosa M. Gil, DSW, President and CEO, Comunilife, Inc.
Moderator: Bobby Watts, Executive Director, Care for the Homeless
This workshop presents findings from the first comprehensive study on three-quarter houses, a last-resort housing option for people re-entering society from incarceration and other institutional care. Authors and collaborators of the report will discuss who ends up in three-quarter houses and why. Former residents of three-quarter houses will provide a view from the inside. Housing advocates will also discuss structural barriers to reform and possible work-arounds.
- Sylvia Carroll, Former Three-Quarter House Resident
- Ann Jacobs, Director, Prisoner Reentry Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Matthew Main, Attorney, MFY Legal Services
- Arya Samuelson, Supportive Housing Specialist, Neighbors Together
- Wesley Williams, Former Three-Quarter House Resident and Member of the Three-Quarter House Tenant Organizing Project
Moderator: Christy Parque, Executive Director, Homeless Services United
Workshop Series B
More than 60,000 New Yorkers are homeless each night in New York City, a number that continues to grow. In this high-profile panel, NYC policy leaders will discuss how they plan to decrease the number of individuals and families in the shelter system, and the role they expect supportive housing to play. Panelists will include two recently-appointed commissioners, NY City Council leadership and a representative from the Robin Hood Foundation.
- Steven Banks, Commissioner, NYC Human Resources Administration
- Stephen Levin, Chair, General Welfare Committee, NY City Council
- Gilbert Taylor, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Homeless Services
Moderator: Eric Weingartner, Managing Director for Survival, Robin Hood Foundation
Learn from supportive housing providers and health home representatives about the partnerships and strategies they are utilizing across the state to house and heal some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Audience members will participate in interactive decision-making exercises with the panelists to develop care plans for Health Home members, including ways to assign roles and responsibilities to both the care coordinators and housing case managers.
- Shawna Craigmile, Director of Community Based Services, Onondaga Case Management Services
- Danika Mills, Executive Director, Coordinated Behavioral Care, Inc.
- Bonnie Mohan, Executive Director, Bronx Health & Housing Consortium
- Joe Simko, Residential Programs Director, Central New York Services
Moderator: Kristin Miller, New York Director, CSH
Siting supportive housing is frequently a (steep) uphill battle that can bring out the worst in communities. The National Housing Conference reviewed case studies in 10 localities to distill best practices—not simply for developers of supportive housing, but for government policymakers as well—that are making the process both more successful and more civilized. Learn some of the strategies being used in other cities, and hear from a New York stakeholder who has been on both sides of the siting table.
- Amy Clark, Director of Marketing and Communications, National Housing Conference
- Cynthia Stuart, Chief Operating Officer, Supportive Housing Network of New York
- Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director, Fifth Avenue Committee
Moderator: Oliver Chase, Partner, Hirschen, Singer & Epstein LLP
Learn strategies and approaches from three very different technical assistance experts who advise organizations on how best to support frontline staff, who are often dealing with far too many challenging clients, for way too little money. Moderator Adina Barbosa also draws on her organization’s internal and external experiences in this critically important sphere.
- Adam Bucko, Co-Founder, Reciprocity Foundation
- Mary McKay, Ph.D., Professor and Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy & Research, Silver School of Social Work, New York University
- Carolyn Sicher, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Moderator: Adina Barbosa, Associate Director of Programs, Center for Urban Community Services
This panel will explore the various ways nonprofit developers, alone and with private partners, have utilized tax-exempt bonds and leveraged bank debt to finance supportive housing residences. Panelists will provide insight on best practices and items to consider when structuring these deals.
- Alan Bell, Principal, B&B Supportive
- Paul Gualano, COO, Center for Urban Community Services
- Jessica Katz, Assistant Commissioner of Special Needs Housing, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development
Moderator: Steven Weiss, Partner, Cannon Heyman & Weiss LLP
This workshop will explore how providers can implement property management, building design improvements and social services strategies to both save money on building operations and create healthier homes and lifestyles for residents. Panelists will share insights from a number of successful programs. Hear how providers have engaged tenants in energy conservation programs, implemented organization-wide composting, helped residences go smoke-free, installed green cleaning practices and incorporated active design into new and existing projects.
- Gustav Guantlett, Green Team Member, West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing
- Ramona Monteverde, Director of Property Management, Safe Harbors of the Hudson
- Suzanne Nienaber, Partnerships Director, Center for Active Design
Moderator: Colleen Flynn, Green and Healthy Neighborhoods Coordinator, Local Initiatives Support Corporation New York City
As projects and portfolios age and Year 15 or other refinancing milestones approach, supportive housing providers must consider their options to make the most of their assets. This panel will discuss the various tools and concepts to consider when preparing for these milestones, including financial considerations, design and construction implications and tenant impact. Hear from providers about their experience working with HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program and from HPD on other refinancing mechanisms.
- David Downs, Senior Project Manager, Catholic Charities POP Development
- Catherine Herman, Director of Housing, Goddard Riverside Community Services
- Kerry LaBotz, Director, LIHTC Portfolio Preservation (Year 15) Program, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development
Moderator: David Hanzel, Senior Manager, Community Development, Capital One
With Hurricane Sandy 20 months in our collective rearview mirror, how are supportive housing organizations preparing for the next disaster (and the one after that)? We hear from four organizations as to what their emergency plans look like, who needs to be trained in what and how you can prepare buildings, tenants and staff for a range of worst-case scenarios.
- Terry Troia, Executive Director, Project Hospitality
- Marge Vezer, Executive Director, South Shore Association for Independent Living (SAIL)
- Shana Wertheimer, Senior Building Director, PG Operations, Common Ground
- Mike Whelan, CFO, Services for the UnderServed
Moderator: Laurie J. Schoeman, Program Officer, Technical Services Recovery and Rebuilding Program, Enterprise Community Partners
Workshop Series C
As communities continue to struggle with high rates of homelessness and insufficient resources to meet the demand, how can we best match the resources we have to those who need them most? To meet this challenge, communities around the country are developing vulnerability indices and revamping their referral and placement systems. The early results are impressive. Come hear how two communities, Los Angeles and Baltimore, have implemented new systems, and what lessons they have for New York’s communities planning their own systems change initiatives.
- Joanna Bomba, Program Associate, Housing Stability, United Way of Greater Los Angeles
- Gabby Knighton, Outreach Coordinator, Baltimore Mayor's Office of Human Services-Homeless Services Program
- Jessica Marcus, Coordinator, Research and Quality Assurance, Community Solutions
- Whitney Swander, Continuum of Care Coordinator, Baltimore Mayor's Office of Human Services-Homeless Services Program
Moderator: Kristin Misner-Gutierrez, Chief of Staff, Office of the NYC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services
Policymakers and practitioners of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Supportive Housing Program will discuss how this new initiative has evolved over its first three years and where we still need to go to make supportive housing as effective as possible for this new, high-need population. Panelists -- reflecting both policymakers’ and providers’ perspectives—will talk about the system changes that have emerged within both the housing and healthcare fields.
- Tony Hannigan, Executive Director, Center for Urban Community Services
- Elizabeth Misa, Deputy Medicaid Director, NYS Dept. of Health
- Moira Tashjian, Director of Housing Development and Support, NYS Office of Mental Health
Moderator: Donna Colonna, President and CEO, Services for the UnderServed
What Can We Do About It? Coordinating Property Management and Social Service Responses to Compulsive Hoarding
Hoarding is one of the most troublesome issues in managing supportive housing residents. It speaks to a clinical need that must be addressed by case managers in a sensitive manner, but it also represents a perilous situation that must be addressed by operations staff directly. This mini-training, delivered by Michael Golub, is adapted from the Center for Urban Community Services’ popular, day-long training “Understanding Compulsive Hoarding.”
- Michael Golub, Senior Trainer, Center for Urban Community Services
Around the country, public housing authorities (PHAs) are taking an increasingly larger role in their communities’ efforts to end homelessness. This panel showcases the recent endeavors of three of New York’s largest PHAs -- Syracuse, Rochester and NYC -- and how they’ve joined forces with their city, state, federal and community partners to house homeless and at-risk individuals and families. Join us for an in-depth discussion about how these PHAs are strategically using their resources -- including land, Section 8, public housing and VASH -- to help in these efforts.
- Alex Castro, Executive Director, Rochester Housing Authority
- Shola Olatoye, Chair and CEO, NYC Housing Authority
- JoAnne Page, President and CEO, Fortune Society
Moderator: Deborah VanAmerongen, Strategic Policy Advisor, Nixon Peabody LLP
This panel will explore different options and challenges faced when using 4% and 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) with NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) operating subsidy. An experienced provider, a development consultant, two government partners and a lawyer will walk through all of the steps of a deal, from the project’s inception to the ribbon cutting.
- Chris Betts, President, Betts Housing Partners LLC
- Ralph Fasano, Executive Director, Concern for Independent Living
- James Lupoli, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Housing Development and Support, Real Estate Officer, NYS Office of Mental Health
- Marian Zucker, President, Finance and Development, NYS Homes and Community Renewal
Moderator: Joseph Lynch, Managing Partner – New York City Office, Nixon Peabody LLP
Youth who have aged out of foster care or who are homeless face myriad challenges. And while supportive housing has proven to be a successful intervention for ending homelessness, new models are needed to meet the very different challenges that homeless and at-risk young adults face. This panel looks at two models that have been working -- one that originated in Oakland, CA and one for LGBT youth in NYC -- to discuss what we should be creating for youth going forward.
- Mounir Tyler, Assistant Director for Alameda County, First Place for Youth
- Colleen Jackson, Executive Director, West End Residences
Moderator: Denise Hinds, Associate Executive Director for the Foster Care, Juvenile Justice and Supportive Housing Division, Good Shepherd Services
A review of three innovative projects will demonstrate how to use VA programs to leverage additional resources -- financial and human -- in the effort to house homeless veterans. Discussion will include project-basing VASH vouchers, attaching VA services to services already in the community and combining federal land with state dollars to develop new supportive housing. The panel will also provide an overview of the Support Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.
- Ben Lockwood, Vice President, Business Development, Housing Visions
- Brett Morash, Director of Veteran Services, Services for the UnderServed
- Martin Teller, Executive Director, Finger Lakes Addictions Counseling & Referral Agency
Moderator: Matthew Hall, Principal, Goldstein Hall