in the news
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, NEW York Nonprofit Press, Norwood News and NY1 all cover Council Member Annabel Palma's press conference and rally at New York City Hall on March 29. Each story makes mention of the proposed cuts to services in supportive housing for people with HIV/AIDS.
THE NEW YORK TIMES RUNS A profile on Giussepi Logan, a free-jazz pioneer who now lives in Bowery Residents' Committee supportive housing.
WNYC AIRS A STORY ON
college-bound combat veterans. The piece extensively features a tenant from Fordham Village, a veteran supportive housing residence from the Jericho Project.
|Supportive housing comings and goings
DR. PETER C. CAMPANELLI HAS announced he will retire as President and CEO of Institute for Community Living (ICL) in June of 2013. One of the founding fathers of supportive housing, Dr. Campanellli launched ICL in 1986. The organization has since become one of the largest behavioral health agencies in the nation. We have enormous admiration for Dr. Campanelli, and though we're sad to see him go, we wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.
MICHELLE DE LA UZ IS THE newest member of the NYC City Planning Commission. Since 2004, Ms. de la Uz has served as Executive Director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, a supportive housing provider in Brooklyn. She was appointed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and received unanimous approval from the New York City Council. We're thrilled to have someone so knowledgeable about supportive housing on the City Planning Commission and look forward to working with her in her new role in the years to come.
AFTER MORE THAN 40 YEARS
in the human services sector, Fatima Goldman will retire in September as Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA). Ms. Goldman has served as the head of FPWA since 2003. Prior to joining the organization, she held numerous management positions in child welfare. We salute Ms. Goldman's decades of dedication and wish her a happy retirement.
DR. HARRY MERRYMAN IS THE new CEO of Lakeview Mental Health Services, Inc. Dr. Merryman has served as Lakeview's Interim CEO since November 2011. He has also served as the organization's Chief Program Officer for two years and is a former President of Lakeview's Board of Directors. We very much look forward to working with him in his new, much-deserved role.
BRIAN SEGEL HAS JOINED Forsyth Street Advisors as the organization's new Funds Manager. Mr. Segel will manage existing affordable housing capital funds and help to develop new ones over time. Previously, he served as the Director of Neighborhood Stabilization at the New York State Housing Finance Agency. We look forward to working with him in his new position!
OLIVER CHASE HAS BEEN named a partner at Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP. Mr. Chase represents developers and tax credit syndicators in multifamily affordable housing transactions. Prior to joining his new firm, he was an attorney at the Legal Aid Society. Congrats to Mr. Chase and Hirschen Singer & Epstein!
GORDON J. CAMPBELL HAS announced he will no longer serve as President and CEO of United Way of New York City. Mr. Campbell will step down effective September 2012, when he will join New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service as a Professor of Practice. Prior to joining United Way, Mr. Campbell was the CEO of Safe Horizon from 1998 to 2007. Best of luck to him in his new teaching position!
Welcome to the April 2012 issue of Network News, the Supportive Housing Network of New York's monthly e-newsletter. In this issue, you'll find stories on State and City budget advocacy, a grand opening in the Bronx, a film festival on mental health and more. As always, we welcome story ideas and tips for future issues. Thanks for reading!
|State budget offers new funds, restorations|
Network holds Advocacy Day to help secure funding
New York State Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried offers advocacy advice during the Network's Advocacy Day on March 14. For more photos from Advocacy Day, visit the Network's Facebook page. Photo courtesy of the New York State Assembly.
The State budget passed and signed two weeks ago was an important one for the supportive housing community: It created an historic new program aimed at providing supportive housing to vulnerable, high-cost Medicaid recipients. In addition, the final budget restored some of the service funding needed to both provide services in supportive housing and prevent people from slipping into homelessness in the first place.
"This budget marks a banner year for supportive housing," said Network Executive Director Ted Houghton. "After months of advocacy in Albany and across the state, we're pleased to see supportive housing restorations for vital programs and the creation of a new program for high-cost Medicaid recipients."
The new $60 million Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Supportive Housing Development Program follows the recommendations of the State's MRT. It provides service funding, rent subsidies and capital dollars to create supportive housing for high-cost Medicaid recipients. The fund could grow to $150 million annually if the federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services provides matching funds.
"Supportive housing is more than a response to homelessness and institutionalization. It achieves great savings in health care costs for Medicaid," said New York State Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried, who strengthened language in the budget bill to facilitate more supportive housing creation. "Supportive housing helps protect vulnerable people's quality of life and stability and reduces their dependence on more expensive institutional and crisis care."
Along with the $60 million in MRT funding, the budget authorizes a new, ongoing community reinvestment vehicle, the Supportive Housing Development Reinvestment Program. This new program will redirect savings achieved by closing nursing home and hospital beds to build and operate new supportive housing in the community for high-cost Medicaid recipients.
In addition, following weeks of advocacy efforts by the Network and its partners, the legislature and Governor Cuomo agreed to restore $1.5 million to both the NYS Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP) and the NYS Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP). This boost will allow the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to restore some funding for programs that were cut or left underfunded this past year.
During the run-up to these final budget negotiations, the Network held its largest-ever Advocacy Day in Albany. On March 14, the Network organized over 100 volunteer advocates in 58 meetings with elected officials and their staff.
We'd like to offer a sincere, heartfelt thank-you to all our members and tenants who participated that day and throughout the entire 2012 State budget process. We would also like to extend our thanks to our partners in government -- Governor Cuomo, his Executive Staff and both houses of the Legislature for their efforts on behalf of homeless and vulnerable New Yorkers.
For more information on supportive housing in the Governor Cuomo's budget, see the Network's full write-up here.
|Network joins rally to restore HASA cuts|
Advocates, officials flock to City Hall for AIDS housing
NYC Council General Welfare Chair Annabel Palma (left) and Council Member Julissa Ferreras speak at a rally and press conference at City Hall on March 29. For more photos from the day's events, visit the Network's Facebook page
On March 29, the Network and member agencies turned out in force for City Council Member Annabel Palma's rally and press conference protesting $5.1 million in proposed cuts to case management services in supportive housing for people with HIV/AIDS.
Part of Mayor Bloomberg's 2012-2013 Preliminary Budget, the proposed cuts would impact 4,500 supportive housing tenants funded by the NYC Human Resources Administration, HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HRA HASA). Since the program receives a 29% state match, the total budget cut to HASA supportive housing contracts is $7.2 million.
Council Members Julissa Ferreras, Diana Reyna and Melissa Mark-Viverito joined Ms. Palma on the front steps of City Hall, along with nearly 200 tenants and staff of Network member agencies Housing & Services, Inc. (HSI), Project Renewal, CAMBA, Harlem United, Project Hospitality, Housing Works, Bailey House, Actor's Fund and Coalition for the Homeless.
HSI tenant Almidia Jack spoke eloquently about how important her casemanager is to her health and well-being. And HSI Clinical Supervisor Lora Tucker elicited cheers with a stirring speech about her experiences and her own personal journey.
Later that day, City Council members asked human services Commissioners about holes in their preliminary budgets and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn asked pointed questions about both HASA cuts and the agency's recent re-organization. The Network's Edline Jacquet's testimony included powerful stories of the lives transformed at Bowery Residents Committee, Comunilife, Center for Urban Community Services, Harlem United, HSI, Pratt Area Community Council, Project Renewal and Volunteers of America. Executive Director Jim Dill of HSI also testified before General Welfare Committee Chair Palma.
The Mayor made these same cuts to HASA case management in last year's budget, which were later restored by the Council, led by Speaker Quinn, General Welfare Chair Palma and the other members of the General Welfare Committee.
To get involved with the Network's city budget advocacy efforts, please email or call (646-619-9646) Edline Jacquet.
|CFA process to exclude supportive and affordable housing in future|
New plans announced at NYSAFAH Legislative Conference
New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) has announced that supportive and affordable housing programs and tax credit projects will no longer be a part of the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, which Governor Cuomo launched last year. Going forward, HCR staff will score the applications instead of having them go through the Regional Economic Development Council process, as they did last year. HCR Commissioner Darryl C. Towns announced the change in March at the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH)'s Annual Legislative Conference.
It remains unclear at this time how the new application process will unfold, but the next HCR Unified Funding Round is expected to occur in the fall. The Network will keep members updated as more information becomes available.
|Cedar Ave holds joyous grand opening|
New Bronx residence from Community Access, Alembic Community Development
Partners, community leaders and tenants gather to cut the ribbon at Cedar Avenue Apartments in the Bronx. For more photos, see the Network's Facebook page.
On an unseasonably warm and beautiful afternoon on March 8, some 40 tenants, partners and community leaders gathered in the new common area of Cedar Avenue Apartments to officially open the new 106-unit mixed-tenancy apartment building. Community Access CEO Steve Coe welcomed the standing-room crowd to the lovely new Bronx residence.
Mark Reed, Principal of Alembic Community Development, spoke about the often-fraught process of developing the project after the real estate market meltdown. He congratulated each of the partners for relying on their "faith calculators" and heaped special praise on Richman's Bill Traylor, who spent much of his time reassuring the "freaking out partner of the week."
"It's not a surprise to me that it's such a beautiful day," Reed concluded.
Cedar Avenue Apartments is the first project to combine financing from New York State's Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Homes & Community Renewal (HCR). Though OMH Commissioner Michael Hogan and HCR Commissioner Darryl C. Towns were unable to attend due to a last-minute cabinet meeting in Albany, OMH Assistant Housing Director Caren Abate and HCR Assistant Commissioner Greg Watson stepped in to do the honors.
Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene congratulated Community Access and Alembic Community Development on the apartment building, noting that the sponsors had successfully addressed concerns raised by community members. Assembly Member and neighbor Vanessa Gibson thanked the sponsors for "opening the doors to the community." Also speaking were Community Board 5 Chair Dr. Bola Omotosho and Corporation for Supportive Housing's Director Diane Louard-Michel.
The most moving speech of the day, however, was given by Cedar Avenue tenant Dina Tomesheski.
"I moved in just before Christmas," said Ms. Tomesheski. "And I believe in Santa Claus again."
Cedar Avenue Apartments was developed by Community Access and Alembic Community Development with capital funding from HCR, OMH and New York State's Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Richman Housing Resources syndicated the tax credits. Private investors included HSBC Bank and TD Bank. Pre-development funding was provided by Deutsche Bank and CSH. Services are funded by OMH. Peter Woll served as the architect and HLS Builders Corp. as the contractor.
|Court reverses adult homes ruling|
Disability Advocates, Inc. found to "lack standing" in case
A federal appeals court has reversed a 2010 court order to provide supported housing to 4,500 individuals with mental illness who reside in "impacted" adult homes in New York City.
The panel did not rule on the merits of the case, but found that the plaintiff, Disability Advocates, Inc. (DAI), "lacks standing" and cannot bring a claim on the residents' behalf. The adult homes case was brought by DAI in 2003 following a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning articles by New York Times reporter Clifford J. Levy describing inhumane conditions and practices in a number of for-profit adult homes licensed by the State. In the initial ruling, the court found that 28 adult homes in New York City that had a high percentage of residents with mental illness violated provisions of the Olmstead decision, which requires the State to provide housing to people with disabilities in the most integrated setting possible. The panel's decision did not address the particulars of the case, aside from an oblique remark that it had "questions about the scope" of the initial remedy. Because it dismissed the case based on the narrow issue of DAI's standing, the court acknowledged the likelihood that the litigation could resume at a later date.
At this time, it remains unclear how New York State and the plaintiffs will proceed. Both the Cuomo administration and DAI have made statements that they are willing to work toward negotiating a settlement. The US Department of Justice or DAI could also file the case again. It is the Network's hope that, however the case is resolved, it will be done quickly and will result in expanded access to quality independent living opportunities for adult home residents who have waited so long for better living conditions.
|HUD announces grant winners|
HUD awards Continuum of Care grants
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $200 million to 731 new homeless programs across the country, with $16.4 million tagged for 49 projects in New York State. This follows December's announcement of renewal funding.
New funding rose 8% for New York State in the face of a 7% decline nationally over last year; only California received more funding in this round. Winners this year include Network members Urban Pathways, Lantern Group, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, Central New York Services , Eastman Commons, Hudson River Housing, Family Nurturing Center and Providence Housing.
In all, 20 of 30 Continuums across the state competed successfully for new awards. Congratulations to all projects and providers across New York that received funding!
Increases announced for vets supportive housing
On March 27, HUD and the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) announced their FY2012 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) awards, allocating $72.6 million to localities across the country for 10,070 new VASH vouchers. New York State received $5.9 million, for a total of 585 vouchers. The overall program had been cut to $50 million in 2011 after being funded at $75 million in 2008, 2009 and 2010. HUD has also announced $32.9 million in renewal funding through its Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA). The agency awarded 28 grants on March 29, including one to New York City provider Bailey House, which received $1.1 million in funding. No new funding awards were made in this cycle. Congrats to Bailey House on its award!
HUD's VASH program combines rental assistance and case management for homeless and disabled veterans and is a centerpiece of President Obama's overall goal to eliminate veteran homelessness by 2015.
Bailey House receives award for AIDS supportive housing
|Mental health film fest slated for May 5|
NYC festival cosponsored by Community Access, NYARPS
On May 5, seven documentary films will screen in Brooklyn as part of the 8th Annual New York City Mental Health Film Festival. The festival, held at St. Francis College, is cosponsored by Community Access
and the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
This year's films focus specifically on the relationship between the mental health community and the police. The fest will include Q&A sessions with filmmakers and other participatory events.
"Come for the discussions as much as the films," says Carla Rabinowitz, a Community Organizer at Community Access.
The scheduled films range from six to 52 minutes. To learn more about them, and to learn how you can attend the screenings, visit the festival's website
|Research published in youth, elderly housing|
New reports from NAEH, Center for Housing Policy
Last month saw the release of new research on youth and elderly housing.
In March, the National Alliance to End Homelessness
(NAEH) published a brief report
and a series of presentations
on homelessness among unaccompanied youth. The project aims to define an overall framework for the population. To do so, it examines the existing data on youth homelessness and summarizes potential strategies to curb the problem. The report cites supportive housing as one such strategy.
In April, the Center for Housing Policy
published a report
on the need for housing among the growing elderly population. The document places a particular focus on housing options for low-income and other vulnerable individuals. It offers demographic data and a number of policy recommendations. Like the NAEH report, "Housing an Aging Population - Are We Prepared?" calls for a greater commitment to supportive housing.