From the Field: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Plan for 15,000 New Supportive Housing Units

On November 18, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced the largest commitment to supportive housing creation in the city’s history, promising to create 15,000 units over the next 15 years. Housing advocates are hopeful that this unprecedented commitment will be matched by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) in a fourth New York/New York agreement to create 35,000 supportive housing units statewide.

The Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY) and the Coalition for the Homeless, both NLIHC state coalition partners, worked with the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Enterprise Community Partners, and others to launch the “Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing” in May of 2014. The Campaign has garnered widespread support, with 350 organizations, more than 250 faith leaders, and 75% of the New York State Legislators endorsing the initiative. 

Mr. de Blasio’s plan involves developing 7,500 congregated, single-site supportive housing units and another  7,500 units in scattered-site and mixed income properties. His commitment to supportive housing is part of a broader strategy for addressing record-high levels of homelessness in New York City, with nearly 58,000 people in city shelters each night. Supportive housing promotes housing stability and reduces public spending on costly emergency room visits, temporary shelters, and law enforcement interactions. A recent study quantifying the savings from the NY/NY III Agreement found that supportive housing paid for itself and saved taxpayers an additional $10,100 in public costs per housed individual per year. 

Advocates hope that Mr. de Blasio’s plan to fund 15,000 new units of supportive housing will bolster efforts to secure a similar commitment from the Governor, building on the success of the prior three New York/New York Agreements. The first NY/NY Agreement was negotiated by the current governor’s father, Governor Mario Cuomo, in 1990. Collectively the three previous agreements created 14,000 units of supportive housing.

 “We are delighted to have Mayor de Blasio’s leadership in our ongoing efforts to address the need for supportive housing in New York,” said Laura Mascuch, Executive Director for the Supportive Housing Network of New York. “We need Governor Cuomo to recognize the need for state resources as well.”

For more information about campaign efforts to expand supportive housing in New York, contact Steve Piasecki at spiasecki@shnny.org.

To read SHNNY’s report on the cost savings of permanent supportive housing go to: http://bit.ly/1ZbpzK7