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De Blasio Administration Announces Plan to Create 15,000 Units of Supportive Housing

November 18, 2015

Unprecedented City investment to generate more new units per year than any previous plan

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced a new plan to create 15,000 units of supportive housing over the next 15 years. The sweeping plan will target even more New Yorkers in need than previous plans, including homeless veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and street homeless individuals.

Supportive housing is affordable housing with supportive services, including both mental and physical healthcare access, alcohol and substance abuse programs, and other social services. It is a proven, cost-effective approach to deliver stability and permanently house New Yorkers struggling with mental illness, homelessness, and substance use. Supportive housing reduces reliance on homeless shelters, hospitals, mental health institutions, and incarceration.  

“Every person in supportive housing and on the road to wellness is one fewer person in a City hospital, prison or shelter,” said Mayor de Blasio. “By making this historic investment, we are confronting the moral crises of homelessness and mental illness our city faces today.”

The City’s 15,000 unit plan is comprised of roughly 7,500 newly-constructed, congregate units and 7,500 scattered site units. The plan will cost $2.6 billion in capital funds over the next 15 years to develop the 7,500 congregate units. Of the total capital costs, approximately $1 billion will be a City cost – and all but $380 million has already been budgeted through Housing New York. The remaining capital costs – approximately $1.6 billion – will be offset with low-income tax credits, and other private sources. There is also approximately $96 million in net operating costs over the Financial Plan (through Fiscal Year 19) – starting at $8.8 million annually in the first year and ramping up.

Supportive housing has a proven track record of cost savings. A Department of Health and Mental Hygiene study showed NY/NY3 clients who were placed into supportive housing used public benefits, Medicaid, psychiatric institutions, jail, and shelters less than clients who were not placed, resulting in cost savings.

Populations served by this supportive housing:

  • Homeless families
    • in which the head of the household suffers from a serious mental illness or a Mentally Ill Chemical Abuser disorder, a substance use disorder, a disabling medical condition, and/or HIV/AIDS.
  • Homeless single adults:
  • with a serious mental illness, a substance use disorder, a disabling medical condition or HIV/AIDS
  • with substance use disorders that are primary barriers to independent living and who also have a disabling clinical condition
  • who have completed a course of treatment for a substance use disorder and are at risk of street homelessness or sheltered homelessness and who need transitional supportive housing to sustain sobriety and achieve independent living
  • with HIV/AIDS, and who are clients of the HIV/AIDS Services Administration or who are receiving cash assistance from the City, and who suffer from a co-occurring serious mental illness, or a substance use disorder.
  • Young adults (aged 25 years or younger)
  • leaving or having recently left foster care or who have been in foster care for more than a year after their 16th birthday and who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
  • Homeless single veterans or families
    • in which the head of the household is a veteran who suffers from a disabling clinical condition (i.e., a medical or mental health condition that further impairs their ability to live independently)
  • Domestic Violence survivors at high risk for persistent homelessness
  • Street homeless individuals
    • with behavioral health issues, including those in safe havens and stabilization beds
  • Individuals receiving nursing home care or medically frail individuals
    •  awaiting discharge from the public hospital system that can make the transition to independent living with medically appropriate supportive services

“This administration has doubled down on the City’s commitment to providing supportive services and stable, long-term housing for our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “The Housing New York plan put supportive housing front and center as the best and strongest path out of homelessness. This program jump starts the development of supportive housing because New Yorkers grappling with mental health issues, HIV, domestic violence, substance abuse, and other challenges cannot afford to wait. I commend Mayor de Blasio on his leadership and vision in bringing online new homes and services for families and individuals looking to secure a more promising future.”

"In the past, providing supportive housing has stabilized and even reduced the numbers of New Yorkers in shelter," said HRA Commissioner Steven Banks. "The unprecedented breadth and scope of this commitment of supportive housing units will help bring people in from the streets, help get people out of the shelters and help meet the urgent need for permanent housing and mental health services in our city."

"Stable permanent housing is a critical part of anyone's well-being and social functioning in the community. Supportive housing is a highly cost effective strategy for people who are homeless and at risk for homelessness.   DOHMH supports and promotes recovery for individuals and families facing the challenges of mental illness, substance use, trauma, and homelessness.  We currently help house and provide program support to over 7,400 families and individuals in diverse communities of NYC with over 200 Supportive Housing contracts. We are excited by these new units and improvements in community health they will help support,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“This is an unprecedented, and key component needed to reduce homelessness in New York City” said DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor. “This resource will be uniquely valuable in addressing the housing needs of our clients who would benefit from a more structured and supportive living environment when they exit shelter.”

“Whether it’s young people transitioning out of foster care and into adulthood or families that we serve, supportive housing is critical,” said ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrión. “Both of these vulnerable populations will benefit from the financial and emotional supports such housing offers.”

“Supportive housing plays an essential role in enriching the lives of our most vulnerable fellow New Yorkers, including our veterans and their families, in providing ready access to necessary services and resources as well as restoring a sense of dignity, pride and the experience of living in a caring community,” says Brigadier General (Ret.) Loree Sutton, MD, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs.  “Under the visionary leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City will now provide supportive housing for thousands of individuals and families, building on the success of developments such as Jericho Project’s Kingsbridge Terrace and Urban Pathway’s Boston Road, whose efforts are dedicated to serving those who have served us.”

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