Gunther Community Housing Wait List Passes Assembly

Bill would require NYS Office of Mental Health to track housing needs

Albany, NY – Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D,I,WF – Forestburgh), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Mental Hygiene announced unanimous Assembly passage of legislation that requires the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) to track and report individuals with mental illnesses that are in need of housing services but have yet to receive them (A.7721-A/S.5228-A).

“Stable housing is critical to helping individuals living with mental illness recover and thrive within the community,” said Assemblywoman Gunther. “Currently, we don’t have an accurate picture of the number of people who need housing services, where they live, and where housing exists, making it difficult to direct OMH resources in the most effective way possible. This legislation will help us identify gaps in services and respond appropriately.”

The Community Housing Wait List requires housing providers, referring agencies, and a county’s community-based agency provide a comprehensive list, every 60 days, of each person who is referred to, applied for, or meets the criteria for housing services operated, licensed or funded by OMH. OMH is then required to provide a quarterly report to the Governor and the Legislature.

The legislation is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.