2008 Conference

Planning Committee

The conference held on September 24, 2008 was a success. Over 340 participants from across the continuum of care attended. The evaluations indicated that 94% of the attendees rated the program from good to excellent.

Picture of the Planning Committee

"Person-Centered Transitions of Care: Challenges and Successes for Discharge Planning Across the Continuum" Conference Planning Committee: back, l to r, Elliott Frost, NYAHSA, Lisa Newcomb, ESAALF, Andy Koski and Lynda Schoonbeek, NYSHCA, Sara Butterfield, IPRO, Margaret Clark, HCP of NYS, seated, Nancy Leveille, NYSHFA, Anna Colello, Esq, NYSDOH, Anita Russo, ESAALF, missing, Deb LeBarron, HANYS, Scott Jackson, NYSHFA. Photo credit: Mike Wren

2007-08 OTDA Budget Initiative Proposal Form

Bureau of Housing and Shelter Services

Scott M. Edwards Director 518-473-2588
Ruth Ann Pickering Deputy Director, Shelter Services 518-486-7738
Colleen Salvagni Assistant Director, Capital Development Unit 518-486-3433
Brett Hebner Assistant Director, Asset Management Unit 518-486-3433
Richard Umholtz Assistant Director, Services Program Unit 518-474-3080

The Bureau of Housing and Shelter Services administers an array of programs to address the problems of homelessness in the State. These programs provide a continuum of services for homeless, at risk and low-income households. BHSS programs are designed to prevent homelessness, provide shelter for the homeless, construct supportive housing for the homeless and offer essential services to stabilize housing situations and increase levels of self-sufficiency. To accomplish this, BHSS is organized into four functional units: the Shelter Services, Capital Development, Asset Management and Services Program units.

Shelter Services Unit (SSU) is responsible for the New York State's certification, regulation and inspection of family and single shelters for the homeless.

The Capital Development Unit (CDU) is responsible for administering the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program with a current appropriation of $30 M. HHAP provides capital grants and loans to not-for-profit corporations, charitable and religious organizations and municipalities to acquire, construct or rehabilitate housing for persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and are unable to secure adequate housing without special assistance.

The Asset Management Unit (AMU) is responsible for ensuring the State's interest is protected for projects developed with HHAP funds. AMU conducts site visits to all active projects on a routine basis, analyzes annual reports due to OTDA, and administers Technical Assistance where possible, ensuring that projects remain fiscally viable and comply with all terms of their contract.

The Services Program Unit (SPU) is responsible for administering and managing over $37 million in State and Federal dollars that are designed to alleviate homelessness and provide low-income households support services necessary to build self-sufficiency. The unit administers six programs which collectively result in over 225 contracts. 

Shelter Services

Each night in New York State (NYS) over 44,000 homeless persons, including 10,500 families and 11,500 single adults, receive emergency shelter and other assistance. Of these, 4,100 families and 9,800 single adults are housed in facilities approved and monitored by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

The Shelter Services staff is responsible for the oversight of family and single shelters for the homeless that are operated by local social services districts and not-for-profit organizations. This includes the development and administration of agency policies and regulations that establish the standards for the operation of facilities. These responsibilities are completed with staff based in Albany and New York City.

Shelter Services staff reviews and approves family shelter operational plans and applications to operate shelters for single adults. The operational plan and application set forth the facility's plan for meeting the requirements contained in regulations. Currently, there are 75 approved family shelters and 61 certified shelters for single adults. As part of the oversight of the shelter program in NYS, the staff conducts inspections of family shelters and shelters for single adults. Inspections focus on health and safety issues, including building safety and compliance with state and local codes and the provision of a program that is designed to promote self-sufficiency and enable clients to move to housing other than emergency housing.

In addition, fiscal information provided by family shelter providers is reviewed in order to establish the rates of payment to the shelters, which are adjusted periodically. Expenditures made for single adult shelters are monitored to ensure that funding is claimed appropriately.

Family shelters provide shelter and services to 10 or more homeless families. Services include: private rooms, access to three nutritional meals a day, supervision, assessment services, permanent housing preparation services, recreational services, information and referral services, access to health services and child care services. Shelters for single adults provide temporary residential care, room, board, supervision, information and referral, and social rehabilitation services to adults who need temporary accommodations, supervision and services. Shelters for single adults serving fewer than 20 individuals do not need to be certified by the OTDA unless a local social services district operates the shelter.  

Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP)

The Homeless Housing and Assistance Program provides capital grants and loans to not-for-profit corporations, charitable and religious organizations and municipalities to acquire, construct or rehabilitate housing for persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and are unable to secure adequate housing without special assistance.

  • Since the inception of the program in 1983 through SFY 2007-08, the State has appropriated $662 million to provide housing for nearly 23,000 persons.
  • Fifty-six projects representing an HHAP investment of approximately $155 million are currently under development. These projects will preserve or create approximately 2,588 units of housing.
  • The HHAP operational projects portfolio consists of 331 active contracts comprising 523 sites and over 6,400 units.

HHAP was the first program in the country to target substantial financial resources for the development of homeless housing, and remains one of the few programs nationally to focus not only on the provision of housing itself, but also on the delivery of appropriate support services to tenants. Through HHAP, New York was a pioneer in the development of low demand housing for the mentally ill and/or chemically addicted and housing for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Moreover, HHAP continues to serve a unique function for a wide range of populations and types of housing that fall outside the purview of traditional housing initiatives. HHAP has provided capital funding for a wide range of housing types for various homeless special needs populations, including but not limited to:

  • emergency and transitional facilities for victims of domestic violence
  • programs for homeless and runaway youth
  • transitional programs for people in recovery
  • supported housing for veterans, people living with HIV/AIDS, ex-offenders, substance abusers, the chronic homeless, and the severely and persistently mentally ill

In many instances, HHAP is the only state resource available to fund the capital development of these types of projects.

Homelessness Intervention Program (HIP)

The HIP issues grants to eligible local social services districts, charitable & religious organizations and/or not-for profit corporations that provide services to single individuals and/or families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. These services are comprehensive supportive services designed to stabilize households by helping them to avoid homelessness and for those who are currently homeless by facilitating the transition from homelessness to permanent housing. The HIP is a performance based contract that allows for various payment points with the goal of keeping the individual/household in stable housing for a minimum of 270 days.

With an annual appropriation of $5.25 million including $250,000 set aside for administration, there have been 15,887 households that have been engaged to date by the 40 statewide HIP contractors and are at various points of achieving housing stability. An additional 443 New York City households have been engaged to achieve housing stability through 3 contracts awarded from the NYC DHS.

Supplemental Homelessness Intervention Program (SHIP)

The SHIP provides the same services as the HIP; however, this program is specifically targeted to families. These services are comprehensive supportive services designed to stabilize households by helping them to avoid homelessness and for those who are currently homeless by facilitating the transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Eligible households to be served under this program are limited to families including non custodial parents whose incomes do not exceed 200 percent of the Federal poverty level who are eligible for TANF. The program is funded with $4 million TANF monies appropriated in State Fiscal Year 2007/08.

There have been 6,865 households that have been engaged to date by the 28 statewide SHIP contractors and are at various stages of achieving housing stability.

Single Room Occupancy Support Services Program (SRO)

The SRO Program provides funding for the provision of support services to eligible tenants in Single Room Occupancy housing operated by not-for-profit, charitable and faith based agencies. The purpose of the program is to assist residents through the provision of appropriate support services to achieve as self sufficient a life as possible and to prevent homelessness and institutionalization of low-income, mentally ill and other single adult populations with special needs.

Funds are awarded on a per unit per month funding formula determined by OTDA and are dependent on available funds. The maximum funding level is $200 per bed per month for providers. The State Fiscal Year 2007-087 Budget appropriated $19.85 million for this program.

The SRO appropriation supports 64 contracts for the provision of services to 12,362 units statewide; 9,530 units are NYC of which 8,942 are under contract with the Department of Homeless Services DHS, 1,178 are Suburban, and 1,654 are Rest of State. The State Fiscal Year 2008-2009 budget appropriation will support the renewal of these contracts plus new development.

Operational Support for AIDS Housing (OSAH)

Beginning in State Fiscal Year 1993-94, the Budget contained a $1 million appropriation to provide operational support to projects that have received capital financing through the HHAP to house homeless persons with HIV/AIDS and their families. In addition, the legislature has added $179,000 for this project in the past. The Executive Budget for 2007-08 included the full $1.179 million for this program. The OSAH program initiative is intended to give support to this limited pool of HHAP funded AIDS housing providers to more appropriately meet the support services needs of this particular population. OSAH funds currently support the operations for 12 HHAP projects that house homeless singles and families living with AIDS/HIV. In total, OSAH funds will help serve approximately 400 individuals/families in over 200 units of housing. OSAH funds are a critical component in the operating budgets of these projects. OSAH supplemental funds are typically used for repairs and capital improvements to strengthen the projects.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS

The purpose of the HOPWA program is to provide states and localities with the resources and incentives to devise long-term comprehensive strategies for meeting the housing and support services needs of low-income persons with AIDS and HIV-related diseases. A broad range of housing-related activities may be funded under HOPWA, including, but not limited to: project or tenant based rental assistance; supportive services; short-term rent or mortgage payments to prevent homelessness; and technical assistance in establishing/operating a community residence.

Through 13 contracts, services are provided in thirty-five counties throughout New York State. The Federal Fiscal Year 07 allocation is $1.8 million.

Supported Housing for Families and Young Adults (SHFYA)

The Supported Housing for Families and Young Adults Program (SHFYA) provides a funding opportunity to not-for-profits for comprehensive support services designed to stabilize, enhance employability, and/or enhance self-sufficiency for those residents of supported housing who are formerly homeless, at-risk of homelessness, and/or at risk of exceeding or have exceeded the TANF time limits.

The eligible population must be families and/or young adults (age 18-25) who are eligible for benefits under the State TANF Plan whose incomes do not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level and, unless in receipt of public assistance, whose participation in such a program would not constitute "assistance" under the Federal TANF regulations.

The SHFYA Program currently has 63 contracts that support 1,570 families and/or young adult units. The State Fiscal Year 2007-08 budget appropriated $5 million in TANF funds for the program.

Emergency Shelter Grants Program (ESGP)

The Emergency Shelter Grants Program (ESGP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by OTDA. ESGP funds are available to local social service districts, not-for-profit corporations and charitable organizations, including faith-based organizations pursuant to 24 Code of Federal Regulations Part 576, entitled the "Emergency Shelter Grants Program (ESGP): McKinney Homeless Assistance Act". $3,236,341 in ESGP funding was made available to OTDA for the Federal Fiscal Year 2006 (FFY2006). After a 5% deduction for New York State administration ($161,817) a total of $3,074,524 in ESGP funding was available for award.

ESGP provides funds for essential support services, maintenance and operations, rehabilitation/ renovation and preventive services for emergency and transitional housing programs. The Emergency Shelter Grants Program is designed to improve the quality of existing shelters for the homeless, make available additional emergency shelters, assist in meeting the costs of operating emergency shelters and provide for certain essential services to homeless individuals. The program is also intended to restrict the increase of homelessness through the funding of preventive programs and activities. The eligible population must be individuals or families that meet the HUD definition of homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Through a competitive RFP process, the ESGP has awarded contracts to 33 sponsors throughout New York State. The funding will be for a (2) year contract cycle to be funded annually for one (1) year periods, based upon the availability of funds. Contracts commenced October 1, 2006 and will run through September 30, 2008. Federal Fiscal Year 2007 (approximately 3.2 M) will be utilized to renew the existing 33 sponsors for the second year. To date over 40,000 households have received services.