What's new at
from the grand opening celebration of MacDougal Street Apartments, a new supportive housing residence from Concern for Independent Living, and the Network's 12th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference
The Network now has a YouTube channel! Visit our page for over 25 videos
from the June conference, including full clips from the morning plenary and the day's 22 workshops.
Check out these job openings and many others on our Jobs Board. Network members can post their employment opportunities for free!
New Destiny Housing Corporation
in the news
JONATHAN KIRSCHENFELD OF Jonathan Kirschenfeld Architect will discuss his work designing supportive and affordable housing residences on June 25 at the AIA New York Chapter's Center for Architecture. See here for details.
THE WEST SIDE FEDERATION FOR Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSSH) has a new website! Visit www.wsfssh.org to learn more about one of the Network's longest-running members.
WEST END INTERGENERATIONAL
Residence has a new name! To more accurately reflect their current and future services and sites, the organization now goes by West End Residences HDFC, Inc. Visit www.westendres.org to check out their new website.
BROOKLYN WORKFORCE Innovations (BWI) is now recruiting for its free New York Drives program. New York Drives offers driving lessons, career readiness workshops and more. See here for more information.
AN ANALYSIS OF PROJECT 50, A supportive housing program in Los Angeles, has found that the program saved Los Angeles County more money than it spent. The study finds that the program yielded a net savings of $238,700 over two years. This amount equates to about $4,744 for each apartment in the Project 50 program. Medical costs for the formerly homeless participants dropped by 68% once they entered housing, while incarceration costs declined by 28%. The report concludes that Project 50 saved the county $3.284 million over two years while costing just $3.045 million. THE CITY OF KNOXVILLE, TN HAS found that supportive housing reduces the public costs associated with chronically homeless individuals. The study, which focuses on 41 people in Knox County, compares individuals' use of public services for one year before and one year after entering supportive housing. Researchers find that supportive housing reduced each person's public costs by $1,145 through reduced jail time, use of mental health inpatient services and other services.
A NEW REPORT FROM THE
Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. (CHCS) and Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) argues for supportive housing as a cost-effective solution to serving high-need homeless individuals. The collaboration was made possible through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
|Supportive housing comings and goings
CECILIA TKACZYK HAS
officially announced her candidacy for the New York State Senate. Ms. Tkaczyk will run as a Democrat in the 46th District. During her years of work in the nonprofit sector, Ms. Tkaczyk served as the Network's Upstate Coordinator from 2003-2004. She has over 20 years of experience working with affordable and supportive housing, including 10 years as Executive Director of the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition of New York State. Most recently, Ms. Tkaczyk served as a senior legislative analyst for the New York State Senate Majority Conference, responsible for the passage of some landmark housing legislation. We wish her the best of luck in her bid for public office.
DR. COURTENAY M. HARDING
has announced she will retire in June as the Director of the Coalition of Behavioral Health Agency's Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery. Dr. Harding has served as the center's director since 2009, following an extraordinary research and academic career that brought into the mainstream the concept of recovery from psychiatric illness. Her many long-term studies of psychiatric recovery and work with states and countries helped transform psychiatric care around the world. Dr. Harding is set to retire with her husband -- the two married in April -- on June 30. We wish her a long and fruitful retirement and hope that she continues to stay active and in touch with her colleagues.
THREE NETWORK FRIENDS AT Enterprise Community Partners have received major promotions. ABBY JO SIGAL, Enterprise's Vice President & Impact Market Leader for five years (and Network board member), is now the Senior Vice President of Innovation. In addition, SHOLA OLATOYE will now assume the role of Vice President and New York Market Leader. Ms. Olatoye served as the Director of Relationship Management at Enterprise for two years. Lastly, VICTORIA SHIRE will now assume national leadership of Enterprise's Vulnerable Populations initiative. In this role, Ms. Shire will coordinate all of the organization's activities in ending homelessness. Congrats to all on their new positions and well-deserved recognition!
MARC NORMAN WILL LEAVE HIS current position as Vice President of Deutsche Bank's Community Development Finance Group to become the new Director of Upstate, an institute for design, research and real estate affiliated with Syracuse University's School of Architecture. We wish him the best of luck at what is sure to be an exciting new opportunity in Syracuse.
FORMER NEW YORK STATE Representative MICHAEL BENJAMIN is now available for consulting opportunities with the New York supportive housing community. Mr. Benjamin served in the Assembly from 2003-2010 in the 79th District and was awarded the Supportive Housing Network's Neighbor of the Year award in 2009 for his work building community support for supportive houisng in the Bronx. To learn more about his new practice and speak with him about consulting opportunities, email Mr. Benjamin at FOMB08@gmail.com.
SARAH HOVDE IS THE NEW Director of Research and Evaluation at Community Solutions. Ms. Hovde will be leaving her position as Director of Research and Policy for LISC NYC, where she's acted as the go-to person on supportive housing, the Housing First! affordable housing campaign and a host of other issues. Ms. Hovde will start June 9 with an initial focus on the organization's Brownsville Partnership initiative. We congratulate Ms. Hovde and look forward to working with her in her new position.
Welcome to the June 2012 issue of Network News, the Supportive Housing Network of New York's monthly e-newsletter. In this issue, you'll find stories on last week's the 12th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference, the City and State's recently announced commitments to supportive housing, the MacDougal Street Apartments grand opening and more. As always, we welcome story ideas and tips for future issues. Thanks for reading!
|Network holds largest conference to date|
Workshops, panels and newsworthy announcements
(left to right) NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew Wambua, Network Board Chair Bill Traylor, NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Darryl C. Towns, NYC Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea and Network Executive Director Ted Houghton. For more conference photos, visit the Network's Facebook page.
New this year: Click on an individual speaker's name for video from the conference!
The 12th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference was unquestionably our biggest and best to date. Held June 7 at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan, the all-day conference began with major announcements of substantial new City and State funding -- always a good way to start the day -- and featured 22 workshops/panel discussions involving more than 130 experts in their fields. This year, attendance was at a record high with nearly 1,300 people registered.
The day began with a kick-off speech by Network Board Chair Bill Traylor, who referenced the late, great Maurice Sendak's Higgelty Piggelty Pop!, the story of a small dog who leaves her cushy life to gain "experience." Mr. Traylor exhorted those listening to follow in the dog's footsteps and gain experience -- through the experts participating in the day's panels as well as the friends and colleagues gathered together for the single largest confab of the supportive housing community in the country. Mr. Traylor was followed by NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner Darryl C. Towns, who officially announced the the State's new $75 million Supportive Housing Development Fund, created as part of the Medicaid Redesign initiative. Commissioner Towns also announced that $25 million of this funding would go toward accelerating NY/NY III development (for a full breakdown of the allocation, see the story below)
NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair John Rhea then stepped to the podium to share his agency's big news: NYCHA will contribute 200 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers annually for project-basing in new supportive housing residences that will house both formerly homeless people and NYCHA seniors and residents with special needs. NYCHA will also make its underutilized properties available for supportive housing development. Finally, NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew Wambua took the podium to deliver an applause-worthy line: "I've eagerly anticipated today so I'm just going to jump right in. HPD is going to double supportive housing production, because there's no more compelling need than the need for more supportive housing." While Commissioner Wambua credited the Network for introducing him to supportive housing, he also credited the model itself with his enthusiasm.
"Once you see it and meet the clients, it's almost impossible not to become a convert," he said.
Commissioner Wambua went on to share a personal connection with supportive housing. He spoke with remarkable candor about his 13-year-old son, who is non-verbal and autistic. Although Commissioner Wambua has learned not to underestimate the amazing things his son can do, he is also aware that if his son chooses to live independently, he will need support.
"I see my son in every one of your clients," he said.
Commissioner Wambua, Chairman Rhea and Commissioner Towns were given a lengthy, thunderous and well-deserved standing ovation.
The Network's Ted Houghton then took the stage to laud all the City and State leaders whose visions had contributed to the embarrassment of riches on display that morning. He also introduced the "second act" -- a plenary discussion of the Supportive Housing Development Fund with leaders from four state agencies. State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson reminded those assembled that when he'd come to New York from Wisconsin last year, he knew very little about supportive housing.
"Thanks to Ted and many of you we have radically changed our view of supportive housing's role in not just bending the cost curve but in fundamentally improving the health outcomes of the patients we serve," Mr. Helgerson said. He then stated that the $75 million Supportive Housing Development Fund passed in the recent State budget is only the beginning; the State is looking to reinvest savings from reductions in institutional care into supportive housing and is applying to the federal government to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into supportive housing. He pointed out that New York is the only state in the nation that has invested in housing as part of its redesign of healthcare provision and thanked the Network and providers for helping the state make the connection.
Mr. Helgerson was followed by NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) Commissioner Michael Hogan, Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Kathleen Caggiano-Siino and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Deputy Executive Commissioner Beth Berlin, who each spoke about how their agencies will spend the new MRT funding. Following the announcements over breakfast, eight morning workshops vied for participants' attention. Discussion of the Center for Urban Community Services' study of street homeless tenants drew a standing-room-only crowd (see video here), as did "Medicaid: 2013 and Beyond," which featured Mr. Helgerson, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Executive Deputy Commissioner Adam Karpati and NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) Commissioner Robert Doar, among others. Elsewhere, "What's Next for Senior Supportive Housing?" was a lively, informative discussion nimbly moderated by Enterprise's Victoria Shire.
Once again, the lunch break was "speaker-free" so attendees could eat and mingle at their leisure.
The post-lunch series of workshops featured seven panels, including a capacity crowd looking to learn about various programs aimed at helping tenants move into independent housing. The workshop on hoarding, however, was perhaps the talk of the conference, with attendees listening in to the expert panel from the hallway (see video here)
The final series -- usually sparsely attended -- this year drew record crowds. Dr. Jim O'Connell and Joe Finn shared their decades of experience meshing supportive housing and healthcare for homeless people. Other standouts included "Implementing the MRT Supportive Housing Development Program" and "Serving Ex-Offenders with Mental Illness: New Approaches."
The day ended with a bustling cocktail reception, visited by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and NYS Senator Daniel Squadron.
We'd like to thank everyone in our community for making this conference the best in our history. It's a tremendous honor to host an event with such dedicated and talented individuals. We hope you had as much fun as we did.
|NYC to double its commitment to supportive housing|
A year's worth of effort comes to fruition
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew Wambua announces HPD's plan to double its supportive housing development at the 12th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference.
State and City housing leaders used the Network's 12th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference to announce a joint plan to DOUBLE the number of supportive housing units produced yearly, from 500 to 1,000 units a year.
Representing Governor Andrew Cuomo, Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Darryl C. Towns announced that the State will make available $25 million in capital subsidy to accelerate NY/NY III development, some of which would be applied to aid in the City's effort. This amount represents one-third of the $75 million appropriation authorized by Governor Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) for the MRT Supportive Housing Development Fund (see story below).
Commissioner Towns was joined at the conference by NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew Wambua and NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John Rhea, who unveiled the City's ambitious plans.
HPD will match the State contribution from tax levy funds. In addition, the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC), which has rarely participated in supportive housing development, will provide direct subsidy dollars in addition to bond financing and 4% tax credits.
NYCHA -- for the first time in its history -- pledged to commit 200 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers annually as well as make underutilized NYCHA land available for supportive housing development.
"We have created a perfect storm of concern and commitment with this consortium," said Commissioner Wambua, who spearheaded the effort. "Currently we are able to finance approximately 500 units of this deeply needed housing every year. By combining forces and efforts, we are reaching to double our production and in doing so, helping hundreds of low-income and formerly homeless people live with dignity and get the supportive services that they need. Without the resources and ingenuity our colleagues in State government, HDC and NYCHA bring to this effort, we could only dream that this could be possible. Partnership is what makes it happen."
"This remarkable partnership with the State, HPD and HDC is introducing a comprehensive solution to address not only the homelessness problem in New York, but also the needs of other vulnerable populations," said Chairman Rhea. "This collaboration is also setting a standard for the future creation of supportive housing -- the precious lifeline for so many for so many individuals and families in need."
"Today's announcement reaffirms Mayor Bloomberg's commitment to supportive housing. The combination of affordable apartments and wraparound services keeps people stably housed and helps them become as independent as they can be," said Ted Houghton, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York. "Supportive housing not only improves the quality of their lives, but saves taxpayers a boatload of money."
Supportive housing developers will also be helped by new funding from Enterprise Community Partners and LISC/NEF, which are providing $750,000 and $1 million, respectively, in new resources for predevelopment costs. To view videos of Commissioner Towns, Commissioner Wambua, Chairman Rhea and others from the conference morning session, see the Network's YouTube channel.
|State to allocate $75 million from Medicaid fund for supportive housing|
Announcement made at the Network's 2012 conference
NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner Darryl C. Towns announces a $75 million allocation for supportive housing at the Network's 12th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference.
NYS Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner Darryl C. Towns used the Network annual conference to officially announce that the Governor's newly-created Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Supportive Housing Development Program will allocate $75 million a year to create thousands of units of supportive housing for high-cost Medicaid recipients across New York State.
While the funding allocation was previously disclosed when it was passed in the State's 2012-13 budget in April, the official announcement at the conference showed the full extent of the first year investment and its potential to greatly expand access to supportive housing for vulnerable people.
"We will likely look back at this commitment as a historic change that created a clear path to housing and stability for people too often failed by the healthcare system," said Network Executive Director Ted Houghton.
The State will distribute the $75 million in funding to create as many as 4,500 capital and scattered-site units in the first year. It will allocate the funding as follows (see the full breakdown here):
- $25 million in capital from HCR for NY/NY III acceleration
- $14.3 million in capital to fund the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's (OTDA) Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) for upstate supportive housing projects
- $10 million to fund NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) Supported Housing scattered-site rental and service subsidies; 350 units in Brooklyn and 350 units in the rest of the state
- $7.3 million to fund a 171-unit permanent supportive housing residence on land owned by Metropolitan Hospital to help move patients at Coler-Goldwater Hospital
- $6 million to restore and fund 2,500 existing and new programs through the NYS Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP -- formerly SRO Support Services and Supportive Housing for Families & Young Adults)
- $5 million to fund operating and services in 410 NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) scattered-site apartments throughout the state
- $2.6 million to fund OTDA's Disability Housing Subsidy Program, to be used to pay for ongoing rent subsidies for 300 formerly homeless persons with disabilities who are facing imminent eviction in New York City.
- $2.4 million to fund operating and services in 125 NYS Department of Health (DOH) AIDS Institute scattered-site apartments;
- $1.8 million to fund NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) for 180 community-based housing units
- $276,000 to fund a 115-unit supportive housing program -- the Claremont Project -- in the Bronx
- $135,000 to fund a supportive housing initiative for eight people with developmental disabilities who are currently residing in a nursing on Long Island.
This new program has the ability to grow substantially if the State is able to get approval for a match from the federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services through a new 1115 waiver that includes a reinvestment strategy for expanding access to supportive housing for high-needs/high-cost Medicaid members.
New York is currently in the process of requesting this waiver from the federal government to allow the State to invest up to $10 billion in savings generated by the MRT reforms. These investments would include an expansion of supportive housing. As part of this process, the State is looking for public input into its waiver action plan. Please share any comments and/or recommendations with the Network's Maclain Berhaupt either via email or phone (518-465-3233), so we can include them as part of our final recommendations to the State. If you would like to provide additional input directly from your organization, visit DOH's website for instructions on where to send your recommendations.
|Cuomo proposes nonprofit pay cap|
Rules would limit compensation for State-funded nonprofits
Governor Cuomo has released the details for an Executive Order he issued in January limiting excessive compensation and administrative expenses for service providers that receive state funds or state-authorized payment of federal funds. The proposed regulations limit spending for administrative costs and executive compensation at state-funded nonprofit and for-profit service providers.
Most of the regulations appear to be reasonable, but the Network and other stakeholders are asking for some essential changes to ensure that well-run nonprofit agencies are not harmed in the effort to weed out the few bad actors operating in the state.
The proposed regulations apply to providers that receive more than $500,000 in state support each year and receive at least 30% of their annual funding from the state.
The proposed regulations prevent providers from spending more than $199,000 in state funds for the compensation of an executive. Providers that pay an executive more than $199,000 must have the compensation approved by its board of directors, including at least two independent directors, and they must have performed a review of comparability data. However, if a provider chooses to pay an executive more than $199,000 from other sources, the provider must keep compensation below the top 25% in the field, as determined by a compensation survey identified or recognized by the applicable state agency, a provision that has elicited concern, for which the Network and others will be seeking clarification. Waivers are available in certain circumstances.
For administrative expenses, the proposed regulations require that at least 75% of a provider's operating expenses paid for with state funds are for program services rather than administrative costs. Administrative expenses are those incurred in connection with the provider's overall management and necessary overhead that cannot be attributed directly to the provision of program services. This percentage will increase by 5% each year until it reaches 85% in 2015. Capital expenses are not affected by this restriction. Waivers are also available in certain circumstances, but it has been made clear that this rule by no means supports any increases of often inadequate State contract admin allowances to 15%.
The proposed regulations require a provider to annually report the public funds it has received, the compensation of its executives and highest-paid employees and its administrative expenses.
The proposed regulations call for an administrative review process in cases in which a provider appears to be out of compliance. The review process will provide opportunities for providers to be heard and correct any non-compliance over a period of at least six months prior to any penalties or actions taken against them. If regulators find a violation and corrective action is not taken by the provider, the proposed regulations include several potential actions, including redirection of state funding and imposition of penalties.
OTDA, OMH, OASAS and HCR have each released proposed regulations to comply with the Executive Order. Providers have until July 16, 2012 to provide public comment on the proposed regulations before they are finalized. The new rules will take effect on January 1, 2013.
The Network remains concerned about the Executive Order and will weigh in again with the State within the next week, as will the Human Services Council
and other stakeholders.
|Network, partners hold HASA advocacy day|
Dozens join for meetings with NYC Council members
On June 5, the Network joined Housing Works, Village Care and VOCAL-NY to cosponsor an advocacy day on proposed budget cuts to the NYC HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA).
These cuts, part of Mayor Bloomberg's 2012-2013 Executive Budget, include a $5.1 million decrease for case management services in HIV/AIDS supportive housing. The proposed measure would impact 4,500 supportive housing tenants funded by the NYC Human Resources Administration.
Because the program receives a 29% state match, the total budget cut to HASA supportive housing contracts is $7.2 million.
The Network helped mobilize over 60 volunteer advocates in 14 meetings with NYC Council members and their staff. A number of our members, including Housing and Services, Inc., Harlem United, Community Access, Project Renewal, Common Ground, Praxis and Unique People Services, were in attendance. The all-day event consisted of an advocacy training session in the morning and meetings throughout the day. We also distributed a sign-on letter from the Network and a number of our members calling on the Council to restore these cuts.
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.
We'd like to offer a sincere, heartfelt thank-you to all our members and tenants who participated in our advocacy efforts on behalf of homeless and vulnerable New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.
To get involved with the Network's city budget advocacy efforts, please email or call (646-619-9646) Edline Jacquet.
|State awards HHAP grants|
$11.5 million go to three supportive housing programs
New York State has awarded roughly $11.5 million to support the creation of more than 130 units of supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals and families. The grants, provided by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP), will support projects in Broome, Onondaga, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. The residences will provide housing and services to survivors of domestic violence, veterans and individuals with mental illness and/or chemical dependency.
"This award allows Housing Visions to extend and expand its relationship with the Syracuse Veterans Administration to serve vulnerable veterans in need," said Ben Lockwood, the organization's Director of Development. "The apartment building will not only provide effective, high-quality affordable housing, but will also help revitalize the neighborhood. Housing Visions is excited to begin construction this summer."
We'd like to congratulate all three members on these recent capital grants!
|Celebration held for MacDougal apartments|
New Concern residence offers 65 units in Brooklyn
Participants help with the ribbon cutting at MacDougal Street Apartments, a new supportive housing residence in Brooklyn from Concern for Independent Living. Visit the Network's Facebook page
for more photos from the opening.
More than 50 well-wishers turned out on a bright, beautiful June 1 to celebrate the opening of Concern for Independent Living
's new MacDougal Street Apartments, the city's (and possibly the country's) first modular construction supportive housing. MacDougal Street Apartments offers 65 units of supportive housing to formerly homeless individuals with mental illness.
Kicking off the speeches was Concern Board Chair Dr. Davis Pollack, who lay claim to being both the oldest person there as well as the person who'd been fighting the longest on behalf of people with psychiatric disabilities. He remarked on how supportive housing demonstrated how far we'd come in his lifetime, comparing the "snake pit" where he used to visit his brother-in-law years ago -- "a place where you just went to die" -- to the glorious new apartments at 330 MacDougal Street, just off Broadway and the boundary of the Bedfored-Stuyvesant and Bushwick neighborhoods.
Speakers included Governor Cuomo's Brooklyn Regional Representative Greg Smiley, Richard Bearak, who read the Brooklyn Borough President proclamation and declared the date MacDougal Street Apartments Grand Opening Day, and long-term partner Paul Heroux of Federal Home Loan Bank, who ended his remarks by saying, "We used to say, 'if it feels good, do it.' Well, this feels so good we should do more."
In introducing NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) Deputy Director Anne Marie Bove, Concern Executive Director Ralph Fasano discussed meeting with the New York OMH office at the outset of NY/NY III and bringing the agency three sites from which to choose, and being told, "'How about building all three?' -- which is precisely what we did."
Mr. Fasano then presented two Housing Advocate Awards. The first went to Marian Zucker, President of the Office of Finance and Development at NYS Homes and Community Renewal, for being a lifelong champion of affordable housing, both for her outstanding work at HCR and in previous development positions on Long Island. Ms. Zucker said she was deeply moved by the honor, saying, "It's groups like Concern that make my job so worthwhile." The next award went to longtime affordable housing development consultant and living legend, Brian Sullivan, who promised that his imminent retirement was by no means all that
As always, the tenants stole the show. Benjamin Braxton spoke movingly about being able to dream again. Yveliz Rivera also made an impromptu speech, extolling the virtues of the building, the organization and the super-caring staff. "The elevator doesn't smell like pee!" she marveled.
The building was designed by DeLaCour and Ferrara Architects
, using cutting-edge modular construction from Network friends Nick Lembo and his crew at Capsys
. Each individual studio apartment was constructed at Capsys' factory floor in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, then transported for installation at the site by general contractor P&P
"It was the first time we ever used modular construction, and our experience has led us to pursue this method with other projects," Mr. Fasano said. "By saving time on construction, we get people housed quicker and spend less on construction loans. The Capsys people were a delight to work with."
MacDougal Street Apartments were built with funding from OMH, the NYS Housing Finance Agency, Richman Housing Resources
, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Astoria Federal Savings Bank, the City of New York and the Borough President of Brooklyn. Services are funded by OMH.
Congratulations to all for creating this wonderful new apartment building in Brooklyn.
|Residence for Women re-opens in White Plains|
Largest in-state supportive housing residence outside NYC
Photo courtesy of YWCA of Central and Northern WestchesterOn June 11, the YWCA of Central and Northern Westchester hosted a ribbon-cutting to mark the completion of its new supportive housing residences for women. This 193-unit project is now New York's largest single-site supportive housing program outside New York City. The $27 million renovation project, which includes two buildings on one shared campus, serves formerly homeless and low-income single women in White Plains."I am proud to see the re-opening of the beautifully renovated YWCA," said U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey. "For years, the YWCA has come to the aid of women in need and worked to change their lives and help them take meaningful steps toward independence. I applaud the YWCA for their exceptional work in the community and look forward to their many accomplishments in the years to come."
The project was the first in New York State to receive supplemental assistance through the Federal Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP), a stimulus program designed to save projects jeopardized by the decline in tax credit value due to the housing crash of 2008. Richman Housing Resources was the syndicator, with Richman's President (and Network Board Chair) Bill Traylor donating funds to restore the elegant conference room where the ceremony took place.
The ribbon-cutting event included speeches from Rep. Lowey, YWCA White Plains and Central Westchester CEO Maria L. Imperial and White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach, among many others. The ceremony culminated with a stirring rendition of "Over the Rainbow" by tenant Tarsha Tew.
The Residence for Women involved an all-star team of supportive housing funders, led by the project developer Jonathan Rose Companies. That team includes NYS Homes and Community Renewal, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (funding both capital and services, through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program and the NYS Supportive Housing Program), Federal Home Loan Bank, The City of White Plains, NYSERDA, Enterprise Community Partners, Leviticus Foundation, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Community Capital Resources and CitiBank.
Congratulations on YWCA of Central and Northern Westchester and Jonathan Rose Companies on this wonderfully ambitious new residence!
|State creates new Justice Center|
Watchdog agency to oversee services for the disabled
The New York State Legislature has just passed Governor Cuomo's bill to create a new watchdog agency called the "Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs." This agency will oversee the health and welfare of more than one million New Yorkers currently under the care of the State or nonprofit agencies that serve vulnerable populations in licensed programs.
The legislation will create uniform safeguards for people with special needs served in residential facilities and day programs by provider agencies that are operated, licensed or certified by the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), Department of Health (DOH) and the Education Department (SED) to protect them against abuse and neglect. Unlicensed supportive housing scattered-site apartments and residences are not included in this legislation.
The legislation eliminates the State's Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons for Disabilities and assigns its duties to the newly-created Justice Center, which is set to have 400 staff. The Justice Center will: include a Special Prosecutor and Inspector General, who will have concurrent authority with District Attorneys to prosecute cases of abuse and neglect of people with special needs that rise to the level of a criminal offense; create a 24-7, toll-free hotline; create a statewide database that will track reports of abuse, along with a statewide register of workers who have committed acts of abuse and who will be barred from working with people with special needs; develop a code of conduct to guide the behavior of those employees who have regular contact with vulnerable persons; develop appropriate training standards for investigators; and develop consistent policies and procedures for incident management by State agencies that oversee services for people with special needs.
In addition, the legislation will create an Advisory Council of at least 15 members to provide guidance to the Center in the development of policies, programs and regulations. Members will include persons with experience in the care and treatment of, or advocacy on behalf of, individuals with disabilities, as well as individuals or family members of individuals who have participated in programs or received services from programs under the jurisdiction of the Center.
The legislation is expected to be quickly signed by Governor Cuomo and will take effect on June 30, 2013.
|New family supportive housing RFP released|
$25 million available for five grant winners
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a new nationwide competitive grant through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Five awards of $1 million a year for five years will be given to projects that target supportive housing to at-risk families. These grants build upon Keeping Families Together, a pilot by the Corporation for Supportive Housing in New York, which demonstrated the cost savings and positive outcomes associated with supportive housing for families. The program requirements of this request for proposals (RFP) include public/private collaborations and a robust evaluation process, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.