12/28/2015

Five NYC Organizations Become Part of “Moving On” Initiative

CSH has selected five subgrantees under its 2015 “New York City Moving On” initiative, an effort funded through the generosity of the Robin Hood Foundation.

Grants to the five community groups under Moving On are designed to enable tenants who have achieved stability in supportive housing to transition to other independent housing.

The five subgrantees announced by CSH are:

“This is all about helping those who no longer have a need for the intense services often associated with supportive housing,” said Deborah De Santis, President and CEO of CSH. “If a resident of supportive housing is able and voluntarily chooses to live in the community without intensive services, we want to support their success and continued growth. These five subgrantees will support the transitions of at least 25 tenants into affordable housing across the neighborhoods of NYC and then refill their vacated units with individuals in need of supportive housing.”

According to De Santis, supportive housing combines affordable housing with comprehensive, wrap-around services that help people who face complex challenges live with stability, autonomy and dignity. Some residents find that after years in supportive housing they have stabilized to the point of not needing the same level of service. Although residents may leave supportive housing whenever they wish, most cannot afford rents in New York City with their incomes and may also need assistance navigating the process of transitioning to other housing. Moving On reinforces tenant independence and choice by enabling residents who are capable and interested in doing so to leave supportive housing.

De Santis noted Moving On programs operated by subgrantees will cover some costs related to securing and moving into a new apartment and will offer case management and supports to help participants make a successful transition. Ongoing rent payments will be covered by Housing Choice Vouchers provided by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Security deposits, broker’s fees and other moving costs will be paid for by funding from the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA).

“We are grateful for the investments of Robin Hood and the City of New York in this Moving On program and the commitment of the community organizations, 125 residents will move on the next chapter of their lives, and allow for 125 homeless people to get the permanent housing and services they now need,” said De Santis.

“Robin Hood is proud to support the Moving On initiative with CSH. The groups that CSH has selected are leaders in the field and we are collectively motivated to help supportive housing residents move to more independent settings—and free up units for New Yorkers who are truly in need of the intensive intervention that supportive housing provides,” said Robin Hood’s Eric Weingartner, Managing Director of Survival.

“Brooklyn Community Housing and Services (BCHS) is very pleased to be a part of the Moving On initiative,” said Jeff Nemetsky, Executive Director. “BCHS has always been dedicated to helping its residents achieve maximum independence and well-being. Moving On will give us the tools we need to help even more people do so in the year ahead.”

“Community Access is thrilled to be a part of the Moving On initiative,” said Cal Hedigan, Deputy CEO of Community Access. “Part of the solution to homelessness in New York City lies in creating exits from existing supportive housing programs. We hope that this grant will pave the way for more.”

“Lantern Community Services welcomes the opportunity to be part of the Moving On initiative,” said Laura Lazarus, Executive Director of Lantern Community Services. “Lantern’s clients include 83 young adults who have aged out of the New York City foster care system. Moving On will provide critical resources as we work with them to make a successful transition to independence.”

“Project Renewal has been focusing on this issue for many years – in fact, last year we helped 156 people move out of our own supportive housing,” said Patrick Germain, Chief Strategy Officer of Project Renewal. “We continually engage our tenants in conversations about how they can live their best lives.”

“SUS is excited to be a part of the Moving On initiative and welcomes the opportunity to work to equip families to live more full and independent lives,” said Donna Colonna, CEO of Services for the Underserved, Inc. “Their success will stand as inspiration to others on their journey to achieving a wonderful and significant milestone.”

De Santis pointed out that filling the vacated supportive housing units, once residents transition to other housing, is another important way to address the growing homelessness crisis in New York City.

“Last month we released a report detailing the immediate need for over 24,000 new supportive housing units in New York City,” said De Santis. “Although New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed to creating 15,000 new units over the next 15 years, it definitely helps now whenever we are able to open up another supportive housing apartment because someone has successfully transitioned.”

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has committed 125 Housing Choice Vouchers to the program, and the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) has agreed to provide ‘one shot deal’ funding that can be used to cover moving-related costs such as security deposits or utility arrears. The NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has committed to helping the subgrantees refill vacated units quickly and to administer the one-shot funding from HRA. The five subgrantees selected will participate in a “learning collaborative” to share best practices, challenges and lessons learned and ensure the success of each resident enrolled in the initiative.

CSH has worked on other Moving On initiatives across the country in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and suburban Cook County, Illinois. Only those residents who want to move on from supportive housing and are able to do so, become part of these initiatives.

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