Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that $187 million has been added to the Ten Year Capital Plan of the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to construct supportive housing. The additional funding to the agency's Supportive Housing Loan Program is a 65% increase, from $285 million to $472 million. Of the $187 million, $132 million is City capital funds and $55 million is Federal HOME funds which is a federal grant given annually to the City that HPD uses for rehabilitation and construction of housing for low income residents. Supportive housing combines affordable, permanent housing with such on-site services as medical and mental health care and substance abuse treatment. Mayor Bloomberg announced the increase at Immaculata Hall, a new $14 million housing development in Jamaica Queens, which is home to residents who have faced persistent mental illness and homelessness. Immaculata Hall's 100-units, which is the first supportive housing development in Queens funded by HPD's Supportive Housing Program, is operated by Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers (SVCMC). New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Thomas R. Freiden, MD, MPH, Department of Homeless Services (DHS) First Deputy Commissioner Fran Winter, Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers' (SVCMC) CEO David Speltz, and SVCMC vice chair Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan joined Mayor Bloomberg in announcing the increased funding.
"Supportive housing is the right way to get people with special needs back on their feet," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Supportive housing pays for itself by reducing a client's use of expensive emergency services like emergency rooms, homeless shelters, and inpatient services. It offers instead, a safe, stable place to live with managed supportive services, which we believe improves the lives of clients and makes better use of public resources."
The 100 units at Immaculata Hall are fully furnished studio apartments. 75 are allocated to adults with serious and persistent mental illness including long-term shelter users, and the remaining 25 apartments are reserved for low-income community residents. Residents at Immaculata Hall will have on-site access to a range of social and medical services including, supportive counseling, crisis intervention, psycho-educational groups, and vocational counseling. Tenants for the 75 special needs units are referred by the City's Department of Homeless Services. The remaining 25 apartments are available to local residents who are at or just above the poverty line.
"Mayor Bloomberg made an unprecedented commitment to the development of supportive housing throughout the City when he launched both his affordable housing and homeless plans," said Commissioner Donovan. "In addition to HPD's supportive Housing Loan Program, we will be tapping other sources of capital to develop more units of supportive housing for New Yorkers with special needs."
In order to expand permanent housing to homeless single adults, homeless families and youth aging out of foster care, the Administration had already increased funding for HPD's Supportive Housing Program in 2004 by 79%, from $85 to $153 million over three years.
In funding HPD's Supportive Housing Program to the level of $472 million, the Administration will make progress in meeting Mayor Bloomberg's five-year goal to combat chronic homelessness by, in part, building 12,000 new units of supportive housing as presented in the Administration's Uniting for Solutions Beyond Shelter plan.
"SVCMC is grateful for the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and HPD," said Dr. Brian Fitzsimmons, SVCMC senior vice president and executive director of behavioral health services. "This housing development is emblematic of the City's and our system's commitment to making residential opportunities available to some of the most vulnerable members of the communities we serve."
The City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene earmarked $25 million in Housing Opportunities for People Living with HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) funding over a five-year period toward development of permanent, supportive housing through HPD. The amount represents a significant increase in HOPWA funding for supportive housing stock from previous years. With these funds, HPD will construct or rehabilitate more than 240 housing units for City residents living with HIV or AIDS.
Also joining Mayor Bloomberg in announcing the Administration's increased funding of HPD's Supportive Housing Program was New York State's Department of Temporary and Disability Assistance Susan Faulkner, Richman Group's Richard Richman, The Corporation for Supportive Housing director Connie Temple, City Council Members James F. Gennaro, Leroy Comrie, Allan W. Jennings Jr., Assembly Member William Scarborough, Community Board 12 chair Dr. Gloria Black, District Manager Yvonne Reddick, Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers Vice Chairs Jane Iannucelli, Sister Carol Barnes, and Monsignor Austin Bennett.