Persons living with addiction can experience unstable housing or homelessness. The stress of being homeless or at risk of homelessness can make the situation worse, lending itself to increased drug seeking behaviors and the use of alcohol and/or drugs. When combined with individualized person-centered treatment, and when indicated recovery service plans, permanent supportive housing and stable employment/living wages can promote self-reliance, support successful long-term recovery, and increase overall quality of life for families and individuals. OASAS funds permanent supportive housing programs across New York State to support homeless and at-risk individuals/families with a history of substance use disorders in achieving stable housing and their recovery goals.
OASAS does not directly operate any housing services or capital developments, nor provide services directly to individuals and families. If you are currently homeless or at-risk of being becoming homeless contact your local Department of Social Services and in New York City the Human Resources Administration.
Permanent Supportive Housing
Housing programs wherein the length of stay is expected to exceed 24 months is considered Permanent Supportive Housing. This includes all of the OASAS' housing "brands," which provide rental subsidies and access to supportive services. Permanent Supportive Housing Providers help individuals and families address their social determinants of health that include but are not limited to the achievement of greater independence and self-sufficiency through stable housing with rental subsidies, vocational training, and employment counseling.
Elements of Permanent Supportive Housing:
- Rental subsidies are distributed at the full Fair Market Rate for the neighborhood, determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Leases are generally held by the housing program participant and in some instances the housing program;
- Occupancy agreements, signed by both program participants and program staff, specify program expectations for continued occupancy of the residence.
- On-site case management services.
- Vocational and educational counseling services.
- Referral and follow-up of other services identified in the participants' service plan(s)
- In some cases, a unit can be shifted from subsidized to unsubsidized housing when a program participant’s income is sufficient. The tenant then assumes full rental responsibility of the unit rather than moving.
Permanent Supportive Housing programs typically fit into one of three models:
- Scatter-Site Model- Program participants are placed in apartment units scattered throughout a community, or ‘scattered’ within a large apartment building.
- Clustered Scatter-Site Model- Two or more smaller apartment buildings of 2-8 units each.
- Single-Site, Mixed-Use Building- This model provides multiple units in one building, enabling program participants to occupy a portion of apartment units within a building of generally non-subsidized housing units.
OASAS oversees the following brands of Permanent Supportive Housing:
- New York/New York III (NY/NY III)
- Upstate Permanent Supportive Housing
- Re-entry Scatter-Site Permanent Supportive Housing
- Medicaid Re-Design Team (MRT)
- Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI)
- The Continuum of Care (CoC) Rental Assistance Program
Rights and Protections
Participants are encouraged to practice self-reliance and make independent decisions regarding their life choices while living in Permanent Supportive Housing. OASAS housing participants actively develop their service plans in partnership with the housing provider and maintain full autonomy. Residents rights include:
- Control over their own personal finances, schedules, and daily activities.
- Residents may have visitors as they wish.
- Freedom to furnish or decorate their apartment unit, to the extent that the lease allows.
- Residents have a choice in roommate selection, if required to share an apartment unit.
- Some appropriate program staff members may have a set of keys. Those staff members will: (1) Be clearly identified to the resident and, (2) Required to give notice if they intend to visit or enter the participants apartment unit.
All OASAS housing providers and their facilities must comply with these and other requirements set out in Medicaid Home and Community Based Services regulations.
Homeless or at-risk individuals and families who struggle with addiction-related problems are eligible for Permanent Supportive Housing. Program participants must contribute either 30% of their monthly income, or the full amount of the shelter allowance provided by the home social service district.
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is the primary agency for overseeing homeless housing and services programs and providing assistance/support to eligible families and individuals. If you are currently homeless or at-risk of homelessness, please contact your local Department of Social Services. If you are located in New York City, contact the NYC Department of Homeless Services and/or NYC Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (HRA/DSS) and ask them about a OASAS housing provider in your area.