New York State Supportive Housing Need

Real Supportive Housing Need in New York State

A Statewide Supportive Housing Needs Assessment Based on data collected & evaluated by CSH

CSH conducted a first-of-its-kind assessment of supportive housing need in eight communities across seven geographic areas of New York State, including New York City. The goal is to better utilize existing data to understand where the greatest concentration of supportive housing needs are in the state and to assist decision-makers in efficiently allocating supportive housing resources to New Yorkers struggling with, or at risk of, homelessness.

About the Communities

The 8 communities selected for the needs assessment accounted for nearly 95% of the State’s total homeless population in 2013.

  • NYC accounts for a lion’s share of the total homeless percentage (83%), the remaining seven selected areas compose 12% of the State’s homeless population, and the remaining 45 counties account for approximately 5%.
  • This is important for understanding where the State’s highest concentrations of homeless individuals and families reside and also the significant pockets of homelessness outside of New York City.

What We Found

We estimate 36,164 homeless households (30,311 Adult, 5,853 Families) were in need of supportive housing in 2013 and that nearly 32,000 supportive housing units must be created in the near future just to meet this unmet need. Access the chart showing the statewide breakdown of numbers here.


  • State and local decision-makers should consider the findings from this assessment to inform near-term resource allocation decisions and deploy resources within each of the areas identified in this report.
  • The State should establish a clearinghouse where uniform and complete data encompassing all populations served by supportive housing is collected, reported and available on an ongoing basis – data should go beyond “homeless” to also include those seeking refuge from domestic violence, those re-entering the community from jails/prisons and those with disabilities transitioning from institutional settings into the community.
  • The State should invest in regular comprehensive assessments of supportive housing need that rely on a whole-person and person-centered approach, encompassing a holistic understanding of the multiple complexities individuals and families face, versus an over-reliance on diagnosis-specific categories of need.
  • The State should focus on capturing useful information on individuals and families crossing multiple systems and amassing high costs to public agencies.
  • A long-term plan and commitment to create supportive housing is needed from all levels of government to begin to address this large gap in supply as compared to demand for supportive housing.

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