Securing the Future of New York’s Supportive Housing

“New York is a national model of supportive housing, which has been proven time and again to be among the most successful methods of ending chronic homelessness. But the system has grown unwieldy, thanks to the vast disparities in available services, funding, and unit maintenance.”

Diane Louard-Michel/Lantern Community Services

A supportive housing building on East 176th Street in the Bronx.

Members of the New York City-based nonprofit St. Francis Friends of the Poor, who pioneered permanent, affordable housing with on-site voluntary services for formerly unhoused individuals, wouldn’t recognize the expansive, complicated, and multifaceted system that grew from the seeds they sowed 44 years ago.

Today, New York has than 62,000 supportive housing units. They span 18 unique programs, are overseen by nine government entities, and encompass 46 specific population categories, providing homes and support to at-risk populations in every county across our state.

A first-of-its-kind report from the Supportive Housing Network of New York (the Network) revealed the significant funding discrepancies between these programs, which makes it difficult to ensure tenants get the quality housing and services they need and also to pay essential social services workers the competitive and sustainable wages they deserve. 

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