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Unprecedented $10.4bn Homelessness Action Plan launched in Empire State

Staff writer |
New York State launched Phase One of the Homelessness Action Plan, which is part of a multifaceted, focused and comprehensive package of initiatives involving multiple agencies.

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In his 2016 State of the State address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a historic $10.4 billion commitment to combat homelessness statewide over the next five years, which includes $2.6 billion for new supportive housing units and $7.8 billion for continuing commitments in support of existing supportive housing units, shelter beds, and other homeless services.

In remarks at the Supportive Housing Network of New York State’s annual conference, New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin outlined phase one of the Action Plan, which includes:

- Issuing a Request for Proposals for 1,200 units of supportive housing. The RFP is the first phase of the $2.6 billion plan to develop 6,000 units of supportive housing over the next five years.

- Addressing inadequate shelter housing in New York City by providing to the City of New York more than 500 beds in underused state and state-licensed facilities for the homeless.

- Creating an Interagency Council on Homelessness to explore targeted solutions to homelessness and recommend best practices and policies to meet the ongoing needs of communities and individuals.

- Completing inspections of all 916 homeless shelters in the state and taking action to improve the conditions in homeless shelters so facilities are safe, clean and well-maintained.

The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative Request for Proposals issued by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) seeks to fund approximately 1,200 units of permanent Supportive Housing.

Proposals are due within 45 days and conditional award notifications will be made at the end of August.

Funds awarded through the Empire State RFP will finance the operation and services provided by supportive housing; construction funding is available through a number of other New York State and local capital funding programs and is not covered under this RFP.

In addition, the state has identified 513 emergency shelter beds in underused state and state-licensed facilities to provide immediate relief for the street homeless population and homeless individuals with mental health or substance abuse problems.

The state will work with the City of New York to identify providers with the experience and expertise to successfully manage these facilities.

In December 2015, more than 100 nonprofit leaders who address homelessness met with State agency heads about their work.

Charged with taking a comprehensive look at the problem of homelessness statewide, the Interagency Council on Homelessness will work collaboratively over the next 24 months with providers and local governments to identify problems, pursue solutions and establish a creative and flexible set of best practices, including ensuring a statewide Continuum of Care and conducting a thorough review of policies and procedures that can eliminate barriers to service.

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