Enhance Residential Services and Supports

Support Integrated Housing Pilot

The growing workforce crisis and increasing costs for certified housing as well as demand for more flexible housing options necessitates new and sustainable approaches to the delivery of housing and residential supports for people of all ability levels. The framework for flexible housing supports needs to be revised, strengthened, and enhanced.  

OPWDD will invest a portion of enhanced FMAP funding to expand access to affordable, accessible, non-certified housing options for HCBS waiver participants, including people who are seeking to transition from certified settings. Qualified grantees will promote more independent housing options and address barriers to people transitioning to a more integrated setting of their choosing. After the grant period, grantees will be able to continue providing the integrated supports and services through existing funding and service models.

Grants are available in all areas of New York State. Additional resources may be allocated where applicants demonstrate effective strategies to meet the needs of individuals with varied racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, gender, sexual identity backgrounds.

Examples of how funds may be used include:

  • Leveraging new tools and technologies to maximize available DSP staffing that will contribute to housing support sustainability for the growing and aging developmental disabilities population
  • Investments in community-based resources (e.g., Independent Living Centers, housing navigators, etc.) to broaden, incorporate, and promote self-direction and skill acquisition for people who want to learn about more independent housing options 
  • Establishing revolving loan funds that will provide for initial payment of qualified transition expenses
  • Investments in property and start-up costs associated with staffing “hubs” to support people living in non-certified settings 
  • Development planning and staffing of housing navigators and associated services 
  • Staff training and certification  
  • Development of protocols to train, hire, and identify a paid neighbor or live-in caregiver 
  • Development of a 24-hour emergency support process to assist people with managing and triaging issues and concerns

Develop More Integrated Residential Services

The growing workforce shortage and increasing costs for certified housing, as well as increasing demand for more flexible housing options, necessitates new and sustainable approaches to the delivery of housing and residential supports for people of all ability levels. In 2022, OPWDD established a transformation grant opportunity for providers that are committed to expanding Supportive Individual Residential Alternative (IRA) Residential Habilitation and Family Care opportunities within their certified residential program. In 2023, OPWDD awarded grants to 17 non-profit service providers.

The grants will help service providers address barriers that have often kept people from pursuing options that do not provide 24/7 staffing. As people with developmental disabilities choose these less restrictive options, their existing opportunities will become available for others who do require 24/7 staffing. Awardees will help people who are seeking this type of opportunity to prepare for the transition by teaching them skills to help maximize their independence. The 17 grants, which are being awarded to a range of service providers across the state, will support increased use of technology, improved staff training, skill building trainings for people with developmental disabilities, and use of staffing hubs and paid neighbors to support successful residential experiences. The program will afford service providers the opportunity to determine how new technologies can help people rely less on staff and how new staffing strategies can alleviate some of the current workforce challenges in the service system.

The following non-profit service providers have received a grant:

  • Abilities First, Inc.
  • Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service
  • Centro Social la Esperanza, Inc.
  • Community Services for Every1
  • Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc.
  • Greystone Programs, Inc.
  • Herkimer County Chapter, NYSARC, Inc.
  • Lifetime Assistance, Inc.
  • Living Resources Corporation
  • The New York Foundling
  • NYSARC Inc. Cattaraugus Niagara Counties Chapter
  • NYSARC Inc. NYC Chapter
  • NYSARC Inc. Wayne County Chapter
  • Ohel Children's Home and Family Services
  • Services for the Underserved, Inc.
  • Springbrook NY, Inc.
  • Young Adult Institute, Inc.

Grant Opportunity: Supportive Residential Habilitation Transformation Grant