On September 22 at Project Homeless Connect, the annual event that provides services to more than 600 Buffalo area homeless individuals, state legislators and community leaders called on Governor Cuomo to fund 35,000 supportive housing units across the state to help address homelessness among the neediest New Yorkers. "New York State should make a significant investment in supportive housing here in Western New York and across the state," said Assembly Member Sean Ryan."The need is great in our community and that is why I support the creation statewide of a 35,000 unit supportive housing program," said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. "With the need for supportive housing across New York State at an all-time high, those residents most in need cannot go ignored," said Senator Marc Panepinto. Senator Tim Kennedy added "For so long, Buffalo has been branded the City of Good Neighbors, and now more than ever we need to live up to that name." Also lending support for a 35,000-unit statewide supportive housing initiative were City of Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder and Assembly Member Mickey Kearns.
On October 22 in Rochester, yet another bipartisan group of legislators joined economic development organizations, local businesses and community leaders for a news conference calling for the creation of 35,000 supportive housing units statewide. Senator Rich Funke said: "The bottom line is supportive housing makes our community safer, better protects taxpayers, and creates local jobs along the way." Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said "Unfortunately, the number of low-income families unable to secure affordable housing continues to rise, further threatening the stability of communities across New York State and highlighting the need to increase funding for housing programs. I call on my partners in government to join me in recognizing and responding to this critical need." Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, "Too many families are struggling to find safe, affordable homes. I was proud to join my colleagues in this year's budget investing in our communities and expanding affordable housing options including right here in Rochester at the Carriage Factory in the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood." Also lending support for a 35,000-unit statewide supportive housing initiative were Councilman Michael Patterson and City of Rochester Deputy Commissioner Kate Washington.
The next day, October 23, a diverse group of legislators also addressed the NYC gathering including Assembly Member Keith Wright who said "Homelessness is tearing our society apart;" State Senator Liz Krueger who said, "Supportive housing is a win/win;" Assembly Member Richard Gottfried who said "Supportive housing is a miracle drug;" Assembly Member Joe Lentol who called for "more supportive housing!" Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer who said "We want supportive housing in our neighborhood;"and Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi who said, "Supportive housing is the fundamental solution to solving the homeless crisis in New York State."
In addition, CSH released a report last week that underlines the need for this number of new units of supportive housing, Real Supportive Housing Need in New York State.
The product of more than ten months of data collection, interviews with more than 100 stakeholders and vetting by all major state and local government stakeholders, the assessment estimates that 36,164 homeless households (30,311 adult, 5,853 families) were in need of supportive housing in 2013. The study was reported in Politico NewYork, The Albany Times Union, The Buffalo News.
Please join the growing chorus to create 35,000 new units of supportive housing statewide by adding your name and organization to the Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing's platform.