Task force advises new approach to supportive housing

De Blasio pledged 15,000 units in 15 years

TRD New York /
Oct.October 18, 2016 05:00 PM
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio

A task force organized by Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended that the administration drastically change how it picks applicants for supportive housing.

One of the task force’s key recommendations, submitted to the administration in June, was to overhaul the way the city determines need, Politico reported. The recommendations will be used to create a request for proposals to build the new housing.

In January, the mayor formed the task force to help implement his supportive housing pledge, in which he promised to build 15,000 units in 15 years to house the homeless or those at risk of being homeless.

The previous supportive housing plan was put in place in 2005 by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and then-Gov. George Pataki and was the third joint supportive housing plan between the city and state of New York. De Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on the other hand, have proposed competing plans.

Under the 2005 plan, which set aside a total of 9,000 units across the state for supportive housing, categorized the units and applicants by specific need, which include those suffering from mental illness, adults with HIV or AIDS, youths aging out of the foster system and chronically homeless families with a head of household that was disabled.

De Blasio’s task force advised that, instead, the city should offer housing based on overall need, and create a vulnerability index to evaluate the applicant’s need. They also recommended that specialized programs should be created to address the various conditions facing applicants.

The task force, which was comprised of administration officials and supportive housing providers, did not create a vulnerability metric, leaving it up to the administration to create the index if the recommendation is accepted.

The city released an RFP on scatter site housing, or individual supportive housing units in different buildings, in August, which incorporated some of the recommendations. It has yet to release an RFP on congregate housing, or supportive housing complexes that have ancillary services on site.

The recommendations have not yet been approved or released to the public. [Politico]Chava Gourarie

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