The NYC FUSE Program Evaluation Snapshot

The Frequent User Services Enhancement (FUSE) initiative is a supportive housing program developed by CSH with support from various government agencies that provided housing and support services to individuals who were frequently cycling in and out of jails, homeless shelters, and hospital emergency rooms in 2008. A two-year follow up evaluation by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Policy found that FUSE participants spent significantly fewer days in jails and shelters and engaged in less cycling between public systems. These service use reductions resulted in significant cost savings to the government and tax payers. Download our two-page snapshot for the report highlights

Promoting Healthy Aging: A Review of the MRT Senior Supportive Housing Pilot

Guest Blog by Lorraine Coleman, Vice President of Social Services at Acacia Network and Secretary of the CSH Metro Team’s New York Advisory Board.

Lorraine Coleman

Supportive Housing empowers individuals and families to grow and thrive in the community while challenging the higher health risks associated with poverty. Before their tenancy in supportive housing, residents likely experienced unhealthy living environments, poor education and schools, low wage-earning opportunities with limited mobility, and inferior medical and behavioral health care.

Their lives were transformed by supportive housing but now like the rest of America, they are graying and that presents new challenges for all of us.

By 2050 there will be 83.7 million people over the age of 65; with 1 in 5 being Hispanic. For New York residents, it is imperative that affordable and supportive housing options are available to everyone who needs them. Just as important, we must ensure the appropriate community-based services are in place for every member of our aging society.

Financial barriers and acculturation have negatively impacted traditional elder care in the Hispanic community. In part due to their close familial ties, Hispanic elderly live longer than their non-Hispanic counterparts. But there are larger numbers experiencing poor health and services. The Hispanic elderly face:

  • 64% higher diabetes and obesity rates
  • Alzheimer’s symptoms that are exhibited 7 years earlier
  • Higher reliance on Medicaid and Social Security
  • Inadequate care coverage; 30% lack health insurance
  • Scarcity of culturally and linguistically sensitive providers

Through supportive housing, community-based social services providers care for seniors while ensuring caregivers have peace of mind. For Acacia Network, a not-for-profit Latino-led integrated care organization, this was a challenge that resonated with our mission to partner in our communities, lead change, and promote healthy and prosperous individuals and families in a healthy environment.

Through the MRT Senior Supportive Housing Pilot funded by the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Acacia was able to identify a primarily monolingual, aging Hispanic community within supportive housing struggling with histories of poor health and healthcare access. Introduction of culturally and linguistically competent services and perseverance lead to the acceptance of supports that assist tenants with aging successfully in place.

With CSH’s partnership, Acacia was linked to private resources to further enhance our capabilities. CSH has been an advocate and an educator for serving the elderly who are aging in place in supportive housing. They leverage the knowledge of the community-based provider with data and statistics, and work to push policy changes and develop new resources for social service staff and agencies interested in serving the aging population.

The DOH Pilot had a significant impact on the lives of the seniors we help. With the funding available and assistance from CSH, we can expand the scope and breadth of our services and ensure more Hispanics aging in supportive housing are receiving the care they deserve.

Access the full whitepaper Promoting Healthy Aging in Supportive Housing:
A Review of the MRT Senior Supportive Housing Pilot by clicking here.

A special “Thank You” to the Mizuho Foundation and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc. for making the whitepaper possible.

Resource Guide & Training for New York Nonprofit Housing Sponsors

The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) and NYC 15/15 Supportive Housing Programs offer new opportunities to increase supportive housing development across New York City & State. CSH is pleased to announce a new  resource guide and training series tailored for New York developers and providers interested in applying for these new funding sources.

New Era of Supportive Housing in New York: A Resource Guide for Nonprofit Housing Sponsors

With details on ESSHI and NYC 15/15, key activities, risk considerations at each step in the development process and helpful tools for discussions with board members, staff and other stakeholders, this is the go-to resource for nonprofit housing sponsors in New York. Download a copy today!

Are You Ready? Serving a More Vulnerable Population Training Series 

CSH’s new Are You Ready training series, designed for providers and developers interested in utilizing new resources available through the ESSHI and the NYC 15/15 service & operating RFPs, will debut at the 10th Annual North American Housing and Special Needs Population Conference, October 26-27  in Niagara Falls.  We hope you’ll join us for our Are You Ready workshop session but if you can’t make it to Niagara, stay tuned for details on our virtual and in-person trainings through CSH’s Supportive Housing Training Center.

New Era of Supportive Housing in New York: A Resource Guide for Nonprofit Housing Sponsors

This is a resource guide for nonprofit housing sponsors interested to pursue supportive housing development in New York State. It covers all the latest information about new supportive housing financing programs, and incentives for supportive housing in the recent changes to the NYC
Zoning Resolution known as Zoning for Quality Affordability (ZQA).

The focus of this guide is on the early project planning and feasibility stages of development. It offers practical information on co-development partnerships, site selection, acquisition, and tools to help your staff and board of directors assess readiness risk tolerance. Both experienced supportive housing sponsors and those new to development will find useful information to guide planning for your organization’s next supportive housing residence.

Improving Health: Better Targeting of Supportive Housing

By CSH New York Program Director Kristin Miller, MSW, and Associate Director Pascale Leone, MPP

New York has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing social determinants of health. At the center of this effort is supportive housing, which combines stable, affordable housing with services to meet the needs of homeless individuals facing multiple complex challenges like serious mental illness, substance use disorders and chronic medical conditions. Significant investments by both the State and City of New York over the past five years have greatly expanded the use of supportive housing to improve health outcomes and reduce public spending.

Read more by clicking here.

Supportive Housing Funding Sources Now Available for NY City & State

The State of New York and the City of New York have both released new funding sources for the development of supportive housing. Below you’ll find an overview of what is available for Services & Operating funding in addition to Capital resources. Please feel free to reach out to our New York Lending Team: Jen Trepinksi for the Five Boroughs and Maygen Moore for the balance of New York State.


Service & Operating Funding Sources

Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (“ESSHI”)

New York State will award 1,200 units this year funded at up to $25,000 per unit annually. The grant period is for five years and is renewable for five year terms subject to state funding availability.  NYS OMH will be the lead agency, but other State agencies may administer contracts for other populations not governed by OMH. The latest Request for Proposal (RFP) is available on Grants Gateway and is due July 24, 2017 at 2:00pm.

Only non-profit agencies may apply for ESSHI.  The eligible populations are homeless individuals or families with one or more disabling conditions or life challenges:

  • Serious mental illness (SMI);
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD);
  • Persons living with HIV or AIDS;
  • Victims/Survivors of domestic violence;
  • Military service with disabilities (including veterans with other than honorable discharge);
  • Chronic homelessness as defined by HUD (including families, and individuals experiencing street homelessness or long-term shelter stays);
  • Youth / young adults who left foster care within the prior five years and who were in foster care at or over age 16;
  • Homeless young adults between 18 and 25 years old;
  • Adults, youth or young adults reentering the community from incarceration or juvenile justice placement, particularly those with disabling conditions;
  • Frail or disabled seniors;
  • Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities;
  • Individuals who are Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) high cost Medicaid populations


NYC 15/15

The NYC 15/15 program will include 7,500 newly-developed congregate units and 7,500 scatter-site units. This is an open-ended Request for Proposals (RFP) for 7,500 units of  newly-developed congregate (single-site) supportive housing in NYC. A separate RFP has been released for the scatter-site units. The RFP can be downloaded from and proposals MUST be submitted through NYC HRA HHS Accelerator system.

The target populations for this procurement, and the overall total unit targets within the NYC 15/15 program are:

  • Single Adults (SMI/SUD): 5,155
  • Adult Families (SMI/SUD): 341
  • Families with Children (SMI/SUD): 654
  • Young Adult Individuals (ages 18 to 25 years): 989
  • Young Adult Families with Children or Pregnant Women 18-25: 361

Eligible contractors will be nonprofit service providers, pre-qualified in the HHS Accelerator system, with a minimum of five (5) years’ experience in client intake and assessment, service delivery using evidence-based and evidence-informed practices, locating and renting apartments, hiring and managing support staff, managing contract budgets, collecting data, and implementing program evaluation protocol.


Capital Funding Sources

NYS Homeless Housing Assistance Program (“HHAP”)

HHAP is the sole program of the Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation (HHAC), a public benefit corporation established as a subsidiary of NYS Homes and Community Renewal. HHAC has an annual competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process that stays open throughout the year until all the funding is allocated.  On June 6, 2017, HHAC released the latest RFP and the application can be found at http://otda.ny.gov/contracts/2017/HHAP/.

Applicants must have majority nonprofit ownership (51% or more).  Eligible projects include permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and emergency shelters. Projects with Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) awards are a high priority going forward.

Eligible populations include people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness who are unable to securer housing without special assistance and include:

  • veterans
  • people living with HIV/AIDS
  • people struggling with substance abuse
  • people struggling with mental illness
  • ex-offenders
  • the chronically homeless
  • victims of domestic violence and
  • runaway and homeless youth.

 

Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (“SHOP”)

On June 7, 2017 HCR released its Multifamily Open Window RFP that includes SHOP. Applications will be accepted throughout the year with a final due date of March 31, 2018.  SHOP is also available through the NYS HCR Unified Funding Round for 9% LIHTC.

Eligible applicants are nonprofit corporations or charitable organizations, or a wholly owned subsidiary of such corporations or organizations, or private for-profit developers. 80% of SHOP funding through FY 2020 will be prioritized for developments that will be controlled by nonprofit organizations.

Eligible target populations are families, individuals and/or young adults who are both homeless and who are identified as having an unmet housing need as determined by the CoC or local planning entity or through other supplemental local, state and federal data, and have one or more disabling conditions or other life challenges, including:

  • Serious mental illness (SMI);
  • Substance use disorder;
  • Individuals diagnosed with HIV;
  • Victims/Survivors of domestic violence;
  • Military service with disabilities (including veterans with other than honorable discharge);
  • Chronic homelessness (including families, and individuals experiencing street homelessness or long-term shelter stays);
  • Youth / young adults who left foster care within the prior five years and who were in foster care at or over age 16;
  • Homeless young adults between 18 and 25 years old;
  • Adults, youth or young adults reentering the community from incarceration or juvenile justice placement, particularly those with disabling conditions;
  • Frail or disabled seniors;
  • Individuals who are MRT high cost Medicaid populations (MRT Eligible)

INCREASING HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR FORMERLY INCARCERATED

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced pilot projects at three public housing authorities to help formerly incarcerated New Yorkers safely reunite with their families under a new pilot program. These authorities in the cities of Schenectady, Syracuse, and White Plains have heeded a call from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to allow carefully screened and monitored people with convictions to live in public housing with their families.

“Stable housing drastically reduces the risk of recidivism and, under this initiative, qualified individuals who meet careful screening and monitoring guidelines will be able to be reunited with their families,” Governor Cuomo said. “This pilot program will help break down barriers, aid in their reintegration into society and increase public safety.”

In an effort to aid the authorities’ efforts, the New York State Department of State is providing funding for case management that will track these individuals, and the Department of Correction and Community Supervision will monitor participants through their parole officers and undertake home visits as part of the normal course of supervision as well as any other time that the housing authority requests they do so.

Public housing authorities supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, including all of the urban housing authorities in New York State, have the lawful discretion to screen housing applicants with past criminal behavior on an individualized basis – excluding sex offenders and methamphetamine producers. However, many authorities refuse to give applicants this fair assessment. This results in people who present little risk to society being separated from family members, and forced into unstable housing or homelessness at the expense to themselves and our communities.

A 2016 study by the Vera Institute showed that reuniting carefully screened individuals with family members living in public housing is safe for the community.  Not one of the 85 individuals who participated in an ongoing housing pilot program in the New York City Housing Authority has been convicted of a new crime since enrollment.

The Governor’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration introduced these results to other housing authorities, and these three authorities decided to pilot the approach. Schenectady County Community Action, Inc., PEACE, Inc. of Syracuse, and the Westchester Community Opportunity Program will provide the case management services to enrollees and their family members. These public housing authorities will have the ability to review a number of important factors to ensure any participant does not pose a public safety concern to residents. These include an individual’s criminal background, their path to rehabilitation, and family structure. At the end of the pilot program, successful participants may be added to the household on a permanent basis.

Richard Homenick, Executive Director for the Schenectady Public Housing Authority, said, “In Schenectady, we are excited and optimistic about this opportunity to reunite and strengthen families, empower individuals, and increase public safety. We look forward to providing a fresh start for returning citizens through a supportive network.”   

William J. Simmons, Executive Director for the Syracuse Housing Authority, said, “The Syracuse Housing Authority is happy to participate in the Family Reunification Pilot program’. The case management support is a critical element in the successful return of the participants to their communities.”

Mack Carter, Executive Director for the White Plains Housing Authority, said, “The Mayor, Board of Commissioners, Residents, Management and Staff look forward to the reunification of family members re-entering their homes and their communities, and for some families this time could not have come soon enough. The White Plains Housing Authority have been asked for many years to be more tempered and considerate of family members who have been incarcerated and barred out of Public Housing we believe we are answering that call.”
 
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Chair of the Governor’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration, said, “Governor Cuomo has been a champion of the formerly incarcerated by offering them opportunities that will help them succeed in becoming productive members of our State.  Housing is a vital first step that can reunite these individuals with their families and this pilot will foster an environment where they can prosper.”
 
Anthony J. Annucci, Acting Commissioner of the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for once again having the foresight to recognize that a key facet in reducing crime is helping people leaving incarceration reenter society and successfully become law abiding citizens. Several years ago the Governor created the Reentry Council to address issues such as housing, employment and access to health care for those on parole. This latest program will most certainly further his vision.”

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Research shows that stable housing and family connections help to reduce repeated recidivism and homelessness, yet individuals who have been incarcerated often face direct and tacit discrimination when applying for housing.  This pilot program, coupled with our agency’s efforts, will expand access to housing for the formerly incarcerated, allowing families to reunite and stabilize. Governor Cuomo’s continuing initiative to break reentry barriers provides the key to opening these doors, bringing families back together and setting the example of how to create a fairer and more forgiving society.”

Governor Cuomo’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration
 
This pilot expansion is preceded by several other recent reentry-focused housing reforms through Governor Cuomo’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration, all of which are now underway and making a substantial impact.

In 2015, the Governor announced that he was accepting and directing the State to implement several initial housing-related recommendations from the Council.  As of today, these recommendations have led to thousands of additional housing options available for eligible people with criminal convictions.

These housing-related recommendations have already begun to have a positive impact, and in 2016 alone:

  •    Less than one percent of the 16,755 applicants for New York State-distributed Section 8 rental assistance were denied because of previous convictions.
    ·    Six organizations recently received conditional awards in the Empire State Supported Housing Initiative to create 86 units statewide of supported housing that is targeted specifically at the formerly incarcerated.
    ·    100 supportive housing units for the formerly incarcerated who are mentally ill are currently being built in New York City.
    ·    Close to 200 individuals with domestic violence histories have been allowed to live with partners with whom they have no history of violence, changing prior exclusionary practices that left them homeless in many instances.

Nicholas Turner, President of the Vera Institute of Justice, said, “We commend Governor Cuomo for supporting public housing authorities across New York State to expand access for people reentering society from prison. As our New York City Housing Authority Family Reentry Pilot shows, housing and supportive services are fundamental to success after incarceration. By reuniting more families in public housing, we can improve public safety and strengthen family ties.”

Kristin Miller, CSH Director in New York, said, “What we have seen from our hands-on experience is that everyone wins when those reintegrating into communities are reunited with family in a home that promotes stability and strong connections to supportive networks.  Thanks to the Governor’s support, we are confident White Plains, Syracuse and Schenectady will realize the same positive outcomes we witnessed with the New York City pilot: successful reintegration for those leaving incarceration; stronger family bonds; reduced costs and a safer environment for everyone, including neighbors residing in and around the public housing.”

David Condliffe, Executive Director of the Center for Community Alternatives, said, “Governor Cuomo and Secretary of State Rosado once again lead the way in demonstrating that supportive reentry services make our communities safer.  The support of family and stable housing provide the platforms on which we all depend to succeed.”

Unbarred

Improving Access to Stable, Permanent Housing for New Yorkers with Criminal Justice Histories

The high prevalence of mental health disorders in prisons and jails, the record numbers in our homeless shelters, and growing concerns over the predatory, unsafe three-quarter house industry demand that New York take a hard look at how it addresses the needs of people with a history of incarceration.Returning Home Ohio

For the third consecutive year, CSH has worked with several partner organizations representing housing, mental health, and legal services providers, academia and advocacy groups to focus on solutions that emphasize housing and services to keep people away from a destructive cycle moving them from incarceration into homelessness and then back to jail or prison.

This year, 17 organizations joined CSH to co-author recommendations that touch on improving access to supportive, affordable, public, and market rate housing for individuals leaving incarceration. Our efforts aim to:

  • Ensure people with criminal justice histories are considered for new City & State supportive housing resources;
  • Remove blanket bans keeping people with justice histories from accessing public, affordable, and market rate housing; and
  • Reduce and eventually end reliance on shelters and three-quarter houses.

If adopted, the policy reforms in this document would:

  • End the practice of relying on unstable and unsafe housing;
  • Improve access to supportive and other affordable housing for persons with mental health and substance use disorders; and
  • Reduce recidivism and improve public safety.

Implementation of these recommendations will mean thousands of New Yorkers will find stable and safe housing, reconnect with their families, transform their lives and avoid recidivism, which makes all of us safer.

Read the recommendations by clicking here.

Castle Gardens

Castle Gardens is home to formerly incarcerated homeless individuals with special needs or have someone in their family that meets those criteria. At Castle Gardens residents can access counseling, substance abuse treatment, and financial planning skills among other services. Additionally, this building is a certified “Green” building based on LEED Gold Standards.

Home to Stay

Home to Stay: Creating Quality
Supportive Housing for Aging Tenants
New York City’s Supportive Housing Aging Learning Collaborative
Core Competencies Checklist & Resource Guide

Recognizing very little is known about the homeless aging population and far less about those aging in place within supportive housing, the CSH New York City Supportive Housing Aging Learning Collaborative has released “Home to Stay: Creating Quality Supportive Housing for Aging Tenants Core Competencies Checklist & Resource Guide.” The Learning Collaborative developed this new Guide to call attention to the unique housing and service needs experienced by aging formerly homeless adults. It also provides promising approaches for improving supportive housing providers’ capacity to deliver and coordinate flexible and responsive services to aging residents with complex health and social support needs.

The guide serves as a 3-in-1 resource for New York City supportive housing providers:

  • A self-assessment guide for agencies to assess their readiness to respond to the needs of aging adults, from physical space as well as program design aspects.
  • A compilation of accumulated promising practices for serving aging tenants, including effective socialization strategies, care coordination, staffing models, and other issues/areas important to aging tenants and the providers who serve them.
  • A guide to NYC-specific resources to promote healthy aging in place in supportive housing.
  • NYC aging

“Our mission at the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) is to work for the empowerment, independence, dignity and quality-of-life of New York City’s diverse older adults and for the support of their families through advocacy, education, and the coordination and delivery of services.   This City’s large older adult population is one of the most diverse in the nation with wide-ranging service needs. Through the provision of DFTA services, we aim to address the social, culture and care needs of all of our City’s aging, especially the most vulnerable among us. The DFTA-related resources provided in the CSH Core Competencies Guide will expand providers’ awareness of and access to critical supports that promote healthy aging in place. We encourage the expansion of partnerships with community-based organizations for the provision of programs and services to foster independence, safety, wellness, community participation, and quality-of life.” -Karen Taylor, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Community Services, NYC Department for the Aging

photo1“The aging process never stops, until it does with conclusive finality.  Each person experiences a shifting relationship to health, physical capacity, emotional status, and community shaped by the dynamic interplay of class, race, ethnicity, and gender.   Complicated enough with advantageous alignments; a deal more dicey if histories of homelessness and chronic mental health conditions are factors.  Project FIND, where I work, has a unique focus on older adults, partnering in keeping them housed, independent, connected and respected.  One of our residential programs, the Woodstock Hotel, is designed to be responsive to the needs of 280 formerly homeless or very low income persons over the age of 54.  Poverty and homelessness often accelerate the aging process, but they do not alter core universal imperatives for friendship, engagement, respect, accommodation.  The CSH Core Competencies Guide touches on many of the considerations provider agencies will encounter as their tenants reach their golden years.” -David Gillcrist, Executive Director, Project FIND

photo2

Age-friendly NYC is a partnership of the Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council, and the New York Academy of Medicine that works to maximize the social, physical, and economic participation of older people to improve their overall health and wellbeing and strengthen communities. Some of the improvements made by Age-friendly NYC include a reduction in senior pedestrian fatalities by 11%; increased walkability through the addition of public seating; new programming for older people at parks, educational, and cultural institutions; and a better consumer experience offered by many local businesses. Access to safe, accessible, and affordable housing has been a priority for Age-friendly NYC since its inception in 2007. Age-friendly resources included in this guide are intended to help supportive housing providers in addressing the broader determinants of health for their aging tenants to mitigate the risks of falls, polypharmacy, and elder abuse; prevent/reduce social isolation; and promote increased physical activity and healthy choices.” – Lindsay Goldman, Director, Healthy Aging, Center for Health Policy and Programs, The New York Academy of Medicine

Kristen-Miller.CSH_“We undertook the mission of compiling this Guide book because the Learning Collaborative has realized there are good practices and resources out there, it’s just that no one has zeroed in and pulled them together in one clear document. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on what is working and share this information with as many providers as possible. We chose to include check lists as a way to make the Guide tangible and convenient for providers. We also are hopeful the many resources cited will come in handy. The bottom line is always about improving the overall quality of life for aging tenants in supportive housing and those now homeless who should be in supportive housing.” -Kristin Miller, Director, CSH Metro (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania)

The Core Competencies Checklist & Resource Guide is made possible through the generous support of Mizuho USA Foundation, Inc. of Mizuho Bank, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.