Housing Services (Supportive Housing)

Supportive housing is a combination of affordable housing and support services designed to help individuals and families use housing as a platform for health and recovery following a period of homelessness, hospitalization or incarceration or for youth aging out of foster care.

Supportive housing is affordable, permanent and independent housing that meets the needs of tenants by providing support and that is integrated within a neighborhood and community.

The two primary types of supportive housing are:

  • Single-site (also referred to as congregate): A designated building where each individual or family has a private living quarters and may share kitchens and/or common recreational rooms or other facilities.

  • Scattered-site: Units in apartment buildings spread throughout a neighborhood or community that are designated for specific populations, accompanied by supportive services

How Supportive Housing Works

Permanent supportive housing provides individuals and families coming from a period of homelessness, hospitalization or incarceration with:

  • Integrated, quality housing: Residential apartment buildings are located in all communities throughout New York City. Supportive housing reflects housing options available to others at similar income levels in the community and meets standards for safety and quality established by local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

  • Standard lease and rental assistance: Tenants sign a standard lease. Continued tenancy is not subject to any special rules or participation in any particular services. Tenants pay 30% of their income toward rent.

Services Offered

Supportive housing programming offers tenants with assistance in getting jobs, reuniting with families, getting treatment and recovering from mental health problems. Participation in services is voluntary and is designed to meet the needs of each resident. Support services include:

  • Case management
  • Educational, vocational and other recovery-oriented services
  • Medication management and counseling
  • Assistance in gaining access to government benefits
  • Referrals to medical services, mental health care and treatment for drug and alcohol use
  • Recommendations for other needed services, such as legal support

Supportive Housing Bill of Rights

Local Law 15

NYC Administrative Code § 21-149, also known as Local Law 15 2022 (LL 15) requires supportive housing providers, sometimes called project sponsors, in contract with City agencies, like the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), to provide supportive housing tenants, and prospective supportive housing tenants, a tenant’s notice of rights on certain required occasions and upon request. This new law became effective on May 9, 2022. This law does not add new rights; it informs supportive housing tenants and prospective supportive housing tenants of their existing rights.

The supportive housing providers must provide this notice to prospective and permanent tenants:

  • At the time of the interview
  • At the time of initial occupancy of a unit
  • At each lease or program agreement renewal
  • Upon request

Supportive Housing Tenant’s Notice of Rights Template (PDF)
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City agencies administering supportive housing contracts must investigate complaints they receive of a housing provider’s failure to provide the notice when required. If an agency determines that a complaint is valid (substantiated), the agency is required to issue a summons against the housing provider for such validated or substantiated complaint violation and to post certain complaint information on the agency’s website.

The complaint information posted must include:

  • The identity of the supportive housing provider
  • The date the complaint was submitted
  • The date of the conclusion of the complaint investigation
  • The outcome results of the complaint
  • The number and amount of penalties assessed

If a complaint is substantiated, the housing provider shall be liable for a civil penalty of $250 for each summons issued for each substantiated complaint violation. However, the supportive housing provider may avoid assessment of the $250 summons penalty (“cure”) by providing the notice to the tenant or prospective tenant within 14 days of the date of the summons. Please note that, except for the payment of the $250 penalty, an agency’s acceptance of proof of a “cure” is still an admission of liability for all purposes and the information associated with the substantiated complaint violation will continue to be posted on the agency’s website.

Confidentiality is very important and the identity of the person registering the complaint is never made public. If you have trouble obtaining a copy of the Bill of Rights by requesting it from your case manager or housing service provider, contact 311 to file a complaint, and you can also email: SHTNR@health.nyc.gov


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