James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

January 25, 2019

Office of Mental Health Announces $12.5 Million in Funding to Expand Supportive Housing for Homeless Individuals with Mental Illness

Funding is Part of Governor’s Landmark $20 Billion Plan to Combat Homelessness; Create 100,000 Affordable and 6,000 Supportive Housing Units

250 Housing Units Dedicated for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness Leaving the Prison System 

Albany, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has issued two new Requests for Proposals (RFP) that will provide up to $12.5 million in annual funding for the operation of 500 units of supportive housing for homeless individuals statewide.

The RFPs are funded by the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI), a component of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s historic $20 billion five-year plan for the creation and/or preservation of at least 6,000 supportive housing units and over 100,000 affordable units. The RFP awards will utilize uncommitted funding from the first two rounds of ESSHI grants.

“By increasing access to supportive housing, we are fighting homelessness, improving transitions out of prison and helping people on the road to recovery from mental illness live their lives with a greater degree of independence and dignity,” said OMH Commissioner, Dr. Ann Sullivan said. "The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative continues to support the needs of New York’s most vulnerable populations.”

The 500 scattered-site supportive housing units created through these RFPs will be targeted to homeless individuals who are living with mental illness. Half of the units will be dedicated specifically for individuals with mental illness leaving the prison system. Funding awarded under these RFPs may be used to provide rental assistance and services to eligible target populations to ensure their housing stability.

The RFPs were developed by the Governor's ESSHI Interagency workgroup, which includes representatives from the following state agencies:

  • Office of Mental Health
  • Department of Health, including the AIDS Institute
  • New York State Homes and Community Renewal
  • Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
  • Office of Children and Family Services
  • Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
  • Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
  • Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci said, “We appreciate the Governor’s swift action, which will provide additional housing that will enable us to offer a continuity of services for individuals with mental illness. This will greatly assist in their successful reentry to the community, while also protecting public safety.”

State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, "This funding will mean more formerly incarcerated individuals and those suffering from mental illness have access to supportive housing.  Through this program, these individuals will have an opportunity to access the services they need to establish post-incarceration stability and ultimately independence in their lives. I applaud Governor Cuomo's continued commitment to this initiative and toward helping our state's most vulnerable residents secure safe, stable housing and access these critical services." 

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