Supportive housing combines affordable housing with services that will help you to function independently in the community. Supportive housing is a term used to describe a range of housing options, from congregate care settings with 24/7 support and services available on-site to individual apartments with services available when you need them. Supportive housing is available through two different programs: the SPOA Housing Program and NY/NY III.
Single Point of Access (SPOA) Housing Program: New York City provides subsidized housing for adults with mental illness through the SPOA Housing Program. Housing ranges from single and shared apartments with a few supportive services to congregate care facilities with on-site services. On your application you can say whether you want to share a room or apartment and how much staff support you want. You can also give your borough preference. The housing may be transitional (18-24 months), extended (2-5 years), or permanent. If you enter transitional housing, the housing provider will help you move to extended or permanent housing when you are ready.
NY/NY III Housing: Housing through NY/NY III is available for 18-25 year olds who are diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and who are being treated in RTFs, psychiatric hospitals, or who are leaving foster care. If you are in NY/NYIII housing, the housing provider will help you move to another form of housing when you are ready to leave your NY/NY III placement.
If you have children and are diagnosed with SMI, you may be eligible for other types of NY/NY III housing. For more information, contact CUCS at 212-801-3300.
The HRA 2010(e) application is used to apply for both SPOA and NY/NY III housing. Talk to your caseworker to find out who at your agency is responsible for completing this application and speak with this person directly. This will be the person who will help you throughout the housing application process. If your agency is not providing you with the help you need, call your lawyer immediately.
It is important to start this process early. It may take several months to get a placement. You will most likely need updated psychiatric and psychosocial evaluations and a TB test in order to submit the application. Follow up with your caseworker about arranging these evaluations. Make sure to attend all of your appointments so that the process can be completed as quickly as possible. If you start the process well before your 21st birthday, you can be confident that you will have a place to live before you age out of foster care.
If you are found eligible for supportive housing, you will have interviews with a number of housing providers. The interviews are a chance for you to decide whether a certain placement is a good fit for you and for the housing provider to decide if you would be a good match for their program. You should also have an opportunity to see the actual place where you will be living. Before your interview, ask your caseworker what questions you might be asked, what questions you should ask, and what you can do to prepare for these interviews. Think about the things that are most important to you as far as your housing and make sure all of your questions are answered at your interview.
For more tips on preparing for interviews speak with your caseworker or your lawyer or see "Preparing for a Housing Interview" at: