NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua attended the 13th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference today where he announced that later this month, HPD in partnership with the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and NYC Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC), will be issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify qualified developers to help the City in its efforts to double its production of supportive housing. At last year’s Supportive Housing Conference, HPD, NYCHA and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) announced their joint commitment to utilize new tools and resources to double the production of supportive housing units throughout the City. Under the City’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP) alone, the number of supportive housing units financed is projected to climb from approximately 500 units to nearly 1,000 units annually to help meet the needs of New York’s most vulnerable citizens. Though this RFQ, HPD will evaluate and compile a list of prequalified developers to enable the City to identify candidates with the necessary experience and capacity to develop high-quality supportive housing on City-owned land, and on available NYCHA and HHC sites when appropriate.
Supportive Housing is an important part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). The plan is a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of Fiscal Year 2014. For every dollar invested by the City, the plan has leveraged $3.43 in private funding, amounting to a total commitment to date of more than $21 billion to fund the creation or preservation of over 147,890 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs.
“Last year we committed to creating more supportive housing in the most cost-effective way possible and introducing new financing models,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “This RFQ will help us move new supportive projects forward more efficiently by vetting and pre-qualifying developers and matching them to appropriate city-controlled building sites in an organized and step-wise manner. I thank NYCHA and HHC for their partnership in this effort, and for sharing our commitment to helping low-income, New Yorkers with special needs to live with dignity in an affordable, safe, and supportive environment.”
“As part of Plan NYCHA, the strategic roadmap we issued in 2011 to preserve public housing, we identified the development of supportive housing as a core principle in evolving the public housing model in New York City to touch more lives and provide services to more needy families,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “In January 2013, we continued this effort by selecting a developer for our supportive housing effort at the Van Dyke Houses where we are providing land for the 100 units for families in need. NYCHA’s partnership with HPD and HHC enables us to continue to be a part of the comprehensive solution to address the needs of vulnerable populations, while also setting a standard for the future creation of supportive housing.”
“Appropriate and accessible housing is intrinsic to providing effective healthcare and improving patient outcomes. HHC is pleased to collaborate with our City agency colleagues in creating housing for the most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles.
On June 7, 2012, HPD Commissioner Wambua, NYCHA Chairman Rhea and HCR Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns announced a joint plan to dramatically increase the number of supportive housing units produced yearly while lowering Medicaid costs. The RFQ that will be issued jointly by HPD, NYCHA, and HHC later this month aims to support the City’s commitment by attracting a diverse group of developers to create innovative, affordable supportive housing coupled with on-site supportive services, on city-owned property when it becomes available and is considered a suitable use. NYCHA will support the initiative by making sites available when appropriate and, to the extent available, may provide additional assistance by contributing project based section 8 vouchers. HHC will offer sites for development for the purpose of affording patients of public hospitals and nursing homes appropriate housing and community supports.
HPD will assess RFQ applicants for the list of Qualified Sponsors based on criteria such as experience in development, social service provision, capacity and management of supportive housing. HPD, NYCHA, and HHC may then match Qualified Sponsors from the pre-qualified list to potential development sites based on a determination of compatibility. It is important to note that not all applicants who are deemed qualified will be matched with a project/site. The first round of applications, which will be due in mid-September, will be considered by HPD for inclusion on the initial list. After the first round, applications from developers will be accepted on a rolling basis and the list will be updated quarterly. The RFQ will be posted to HPD’s website when it is released later this month.
Utilizing the RFQ process to create a prequalified list of supportive housing developers has a number of advantages over the standard Request for Proposals (RFP) process usually employed for City-subsidized affordable housing projects. The majority of supportive housing developers are not-for-profit organizations with limited funding. Submitting information to one RFQ, as opposed to submitting multiple proposals to individual RFPs, is a much more cost effective and much less time consuming process for both the supportive housing organizations and the City. Key competitive aspects of an RFP process include design and financing, both of which are necessarily prescriptive in under the City’s supportive housing development requirements, reducing the need for an RFP format.
Supportive housing developments are intended to provide permanent housing in which high users of Medicaid resources; formerly homeless, low-income, disabled people and families with special needs can live independently, with support and assistance provided through on-site social services funded by the City and State. HPD has created 5,110 units of supportive housing under the Bloomberg Administration for populations that include formerly homeless veterans, youth aging out of foster care, people with HIV/AIDS, victims of domestic abuse, the physically and mentally disabled, and others.
Supportive housing tenants have leases and pay approximately one-third of their annual income toward rent. In addition to being affordable, the apartments are high-quality and designed to enhance tenant self-esteem while providing a stabilizing effect to the neighborhoods where it is located. Qualified staff provides specialized support services that offer a “hand-up,” helping tenants manage necessary life-skills and activities that many people take for granted, such as maintaining health care routines, education and employment services, handling basic personal finances, etc.
Extensive research has demonstrated that supportive housing reduces immediate and long-term spending on taxpayer subsidized programs like Medicaid along with homeless shelters, incarceration, psychiatric hospitalization and other costly emergency interventions. Studies show that the public savings exceeded the total costs of building, operating and providing supportive housing and the accompanying services.
# # #
About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):
HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 147,890 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For regular updates on news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychpd and www.twitter.com/nychousing. For more information, visit our website at www.nyc.gov/hpd.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA):
NYCHA provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs. To fulfill this mission, NYCHA must preserve its aging housing stock through timely maintenance and modernization of its developments. NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments. Simultaneously, we work to enhance the quality of life at NYCHA by offering our residents opportunities to participate in a multitude of community, educational and recreational programs, as well as job readiness and training initiatives.
About the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC):
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 430,000 member health plan, MetroPlus, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission's John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc