ALBANY, NY (WENY)-- Gov. Kathy Hochul announced annual funding to provide services and operating expenses for up to 5,000 supportive housing units. The funding plans to serve a variety of communities including older adults, survivors of domestic and gender biased violence, veterans, and homeless families. 

“Supportive housing is absolutely essential as a key element for addressing New York’s homelessness crisis," said Alex Schwartz, Professor of Urban Policy, The New School.

Schwartz added research proves that permanent supportive housing reduces the demand for shelters, hospital beds, emergency rooms, prisons, and jails. 

The funding is a continuation of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative that started in 2016. It can be used for rental subsidies and other occupancy costs including services or staff to identify and locate eligible individuals that need housing, primary and behavioral health services, vocational training, and more. 

And for some communities, this means everything. 

“We know that victims of domestic violence who find stable housing quicker and don’t return to their abuser and actually move one to a safer life," said Kelli Owens, Executive Director of the Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Owens added that domestic violence supportive housing units have seen an increase to funding awards over the past year. In 2021 there were 377 units awarded and in 2022, there were 433 units awarded. She said this is significant for survivors. 

Schwartz said while this recent round of funding is a step in the right direction, it's limited in terms of its scale. 

“Five thousand units of supportive housing is a lot better than no units. Are there more than 5,000 people that require it? I think so," he said.