Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced the formation of a Supportive Housing Task Force to help the city create 15,000 units of supportive housing, a move to decrease the city’s need for homeless shelters by providing affordable permanent housing for tenants with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.
The special housing units are equipped with with social and supportive services, including case management, job training and onsite care. The housing has a proven record of helping stabilize people’s lives and reducing reliance on homeless shelters, hospitals, mental health institutions and jail.
“The creation of 15,000 supportive apartments means giving 15,000 individuals the best possible opportunity to overcome deep challenges like mental illness, homelessness and substance misuse,” said Mayor de Blasio. “It means thousands of people off the street, out of shelter, away from the revolving door of the criminal justice system and emergency rooms.”
Aside from adding 15,000 more units, the task force will assist in plans to double the housing’s Drop-In Centers and add more Safe Haven beds.
For months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has criticized de Blasio’s efforts to manage the growing homelessness crisis, and during his State of the State address in Albany Wednesday, Cuomo said he planned to unveil proposals for a stronger state role in tackling the problem.
De Blasio said he wanted the governor to recognize that “We are committed to a solution, and we are putting in more resources and coordination.
“It means thousands of people off the street, out of shelter, away from the revolving door of the criminal justice system and emergency rooms.”