Media Mentions

City and State: Brenda Rosen on Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan

Brenda Rosen on City and State TV
Common Ground is the city's largest supportive housing provider and a nationally recognized non-profit leader in efforts to end homelessness, having created 3,200 units of supportive housing since 1990, and enabled more than 5,000 people overcome homelessness. Supportive housing is mixed-use housing where a percentage of the affordable units, usually between 50 and 60 percent, are reserved for formerly homeless individuals, many of whom suffer from mental illness or substance abuse disorders, or are living with HIV/AIDS. The rest of the building is reserved for low-income working adults.

With records showing that more than 53,000 people are sleeping in city homeless shelters, Rosen was especially pleased that the mayor committed additional captial funds to supportive housing in his 10-year affordable housing plan announced two weeks ago.

"From Common Ground's perspective, we're thrilled with the housing plan," Rosen said. "[The mayor] expressed a strong commitment to continuing and expanding supportive housing. He's put in almost $500 million of capital funds into supportive housing over the next four years, so roughly $125 million a year, and that's more than twice the amount that was put in for the previous plan. This clearly demonstrates that he sees supportie housing as a cost-efficient, humane, successful way to allow people to succeed."

Rosen added that one detail that has yet to be ironed out concerning the mayor's plan for supportive housing, is the fate of the NY/NY III agreement, a city and state agreement to commit to building 9,000 units of supportive housing over ten years, signed by former mayor Michael Bloomberg and former governor George Pataki in 2005. Rosen said that that 9,000-unit number was well within reach, and the money that the mayor has put into the executive budget should be sufficient to cover the capital to any successor to the NY/NY III agreement.

Rosen also provided some figures to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of the city pouring money into supportive housing.

"All of the research shows that for every added supportive housing unit, the city and state are saving roughly $10,000 a year," Rosen said. "I think as we refine our metrics and are able to use more data to show what happens when somebody is in supportive housing, i have no doubt that that number will probably increase. For somebody to come into supportive housing and receive all the services that they do, and live in a decent apartment and give them an opportunity to contribute back to society, the total cost of that at the highest range, is about $24,000 a year, substantially less than it is to keep somebody out on the streets."