November 1, 2017

State Announces Groundbreaking of Supportive Housing Project for Formerly Homeless Individuals with Disabilities

Former Albany School Will House Five One-Bedroom Apartments, Supportive Programs and Services

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance announced the groundbreaking of a $3.3 million project to provide permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals with disabilities. Sponsored by Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH), the former St. Casimir’s School on Sheridan Avenue in Albany is being renovated into five units and will also house many of the programs and services of IPH’s Drop-In Center.

"Supportive housing projects like this bring together housing and tailored services necessary for homeless individuals with a disability to achieve better health and stability in their lives," said Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts. "We are proud to partner with Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless and thank them for their continued commitment to housing homeless New Yorkers."

The second-floor classrooms will become five one-bedroom apartments, while the basement and first floor will be the new home to Community Connections. This will allow for the expansion of employment and housing services, a clothing pantry, a daily hot meal, life skills classes and more. The former St. Casimir’s Convent next door to the school will also be renovated to house IPH's health and wellness program, Healthy Connections, providing free health services to homeless and low-income individuals. These two properties are being brought back to life with expanded services, helping to change the landscape of the neighborhood.

"IPH has long been committed to the Sheridan Hollow community and these renovated buildings will provide expanded programs, services and housing for our community," said Janine Robitaille, Executive Director of IPH. "The former St. Casimir’s school and convent will once again be a community hub and source of pride."

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) provided $2.6 million for this project. Over the years, HHAP has provided capital funding for a wide range of housing types for various homeless special needs populations. Additionally, an Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) award has been secured for the five units.

Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless is a nondenominational provider of emergency shelter for single adults. Since 1984, IPH has expanded its programs to provide extensive services for homeless and at-risk individuals and families that promote life skills development and self-sufficiency. IPH currently has three HHAP contracts in Albany including a 12-bed emergency shelter, four units of permanent housing and another 10 units of permanent housing.

New York leads the nation in affordable housing preservation and construction. The State Fiscal Year 2018 Enacted Budget continues funding to advance Governor Cuomo’s $20 billion five-year Affordable Housing Action Plan which will ensure New Yorkers have access to safe and secure housing. The comprehensive plan includes $10 billion to create and preserve 100,000 units of affordable housing and $10 billion to tackle homelessness by developing 6,000 new, permanent supportive housing units. HHAP is a key part of the Governor's plan.

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