Services for the UnderServed gets $11M for supportive housing units in New Lots
Crain’s Health Pulse
August 22, 2022
The city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has awarded Midtown nonprofit Services for the UnderServed just over $11 million to open a 43-unit supportive housing building on Alabama Avenue in New Lots, a subsection of East New York.
The units will be part of the city’s 15/15 Supportive Housing Initiative, which will expand the number of New Yorkers who qualify for the housing, said Nadjete Natchaba, S:US’s chief of operations for behavioral health and homeless services.
In 2015 the 15/15 initiative committed to developing 15,000 units of supportive housing in 15 years. As of 2018, approximately 2,700 units had been developed, according to figures from the Supportive Housing Network of New York.
Traditionally, supportive housing units are allocated to New Yorkers with a history of diagnosed mental health conditions or those experiencing homelessness. The waiver expands eligibility to people who have a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder, HIV or AIDS and to those who have been homeless for a year or who are undocumented and have a mental health diagnosis or who are experiencing homelessness, Natchaba said.
All 43 units will be reserved for single adults who qualify for the waiver. Background checks will not be performed on prospective tenants, another aspect of expanding access.
People looking for housing need to 2010E application completed by a staff member in a shelter or outpatient programs, Natchaba said, adding that prospective residents can reach out to S:US directly for more guidance.
S:US said it would perform inspections of each unit throughout residents’ stay. For residents who have income, 30% of their income, whatever it is, will go toward their unit. S:US will offer supportive services, such as helping people get jobs, primary care physicians and therapy, Natchaba explained.
S:US has provided supportive housing for years, but it is new to the 15/15 waiver program, Natchaba said, adding the nonprofit already operates a 15/15 building in the Bronx.
The organization serves approximately 3,300 New Yorkers with housing, some of which is permanent housing, and will be able to serve close to 4,000 people next year with expansions, she said.
Services for the UnderServed, founded in 1978, works with more than 37,000 New Yorkers every year. Its budget this year is just over $244 million and includes nearly $85 million for helping people with developmental disabilities and nearly $50 million for supportive housing services.