Office of Mental Health Announces $8.5 Million in Awards 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

Albany, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) today announced 16 awards totaling $8.5 million in annual funding for the operation of 340 units of supportive housing for homeless individuals statewide, with many set aside for individuals with mental illness who are leaving the prison system.

The awards 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 more than 100,000 units of affordable housing.

Anthony J. Annucci, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), said, “Housing is critical for the success of any individual making the transition from incarceration back to the community. This transition is especially difficult for individuals with mental illness. They must reside in appropriate locations with access to nearby available support and treatment. The Governor’s initiative will have a great impact on the challenges of identifying housing for these individuals and their families.”

Michael Hein, Acting Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), said, “This funding is critical to ensuring that individuals suffering from mental illness not only have a safe place to live when they are released from incarceration, but access to supportive services needed to help achieve stability. Governor Cuomo recognizes how instrumental supportive housing can be in changing someone’s life and this funding will contribute greatly to those efforts.”

The awards are in response to two Requests For Proposals (RFP) issued in January and will use uncommitted funding from previous rounds of ESSHI grants. The awards will provide scattered site supportive housing for individuals with a serious mental illness who are homeless or cannot secure and maintain permanent housing without special assistance. Some of the units will be dedicated specifically for individuals with mental illness who are being released from the New York State prison system and who would otherwise be homeless.

The ESSHI Scattered Site Awardees by region include:

Hudson River Region

  • Hudson River Housing, Inc.
  • Homeless and Travelers Aid Society of the Capital District, Inc.
  • Access: Supports for Living, Inc.

 NYC Region

  • Federation of Organizations for the NYS Mentally Disabled, Inc.
  • WellLife Network, Inc.
  • Transitional Services for New York, Inc.
  • Pibly Residential Programs, Inc.
  • Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc.
  • St. Joseph’s Medical Center

 Western NY Region

  • Mental Health Services, Erie Co. Southeast Corp. V
  • Delphi Drug and Alcohol Council
  • Transitional Services, Inc.

 Long Island Region

  • Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (Two Awards)
  • Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Services, Inc.

Central NY Region

  • Liberty Resources, Inc.

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