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State awards $30M for supportive housing programs

Niagara Gazette - 2/6/2024

Feb. 6—New York State is releasing $30 million for supportive housing funding to serve older adults, survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, veterans and chronically homeless families, and individuals with a mental illness or substance use disorder.

Administered by the State Office of Mental Health, the eighth round of funding through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative resulted in 122 awards, which will provide conditional funding for services and operating expenses for up to 4,839 units of supportive housing.

"Supportive housing plays a critical role in our efforts to strengthen New York's mental health care system and ensure all New Yorkers can live successfully within their community," Gov. Kathy Hochul said. "The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative provides the funding needed to provide the services vulnerable populations can rely on to live safely in independent settings."

Since its inception, the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative has provided operating funding for more than 8,400 units serving vulnerable populations.

In Western New York, funding will go to:

—Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development Corp.

—BestSelf Behavioral Health Inc.(2 awards)

—Community Services for Every1 Inc.

—DePaul Community Services, Inc.(2 awards)

—Eagle Star Housing, Inc.(2 awards)

—Learning Disabilities Association of Western New York, Inc.

—People Inc.(4 awards)

—Polish Community Center of Buffalo, Inc.

—Southern Tier Environments For Living, Inc.(2 awards)

—Soldier On, Inc.(2 awards)

—The Salvation Army

The state Office of Mental Health serves as the lead procurement agency for the funding, which is dispersed by an interagency workgroup of eight state agencies serving vulnerable New Yorkers.

Funding may be used for rental assistance and services to eligible target populations to ensure their housing stability. Permissible uses include rental subsidies and other occupancy costs; services or staff to identify and locate eligible individuals that need housing; primary and behavioral health services; employment and vocational training; educational assistance, parenting skills development and support; child care assistance counseling and crisis intervention; children's services, including educational advocacy, support and counseling; and costs associated with services that help individuals and families remain stably housed.

Projects may receive up to $25,000 per unit per year for service and operating funding needed to operate permanent supportive housing units. Awards are conditional and are contingent on a project securing capital funding for new construction, the adaptive reuse of non-residential property, or the rehabilitation of unregulated residential property to create integrated affordable supportive housing.

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(c)2024 the Niagara Gazette (Niagara Falls, N.Y.)

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