Tuesday, August 10, 2021 – In partnership with the New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the Plattsburgh Housing Authority, Housing Visions, and local officials, BHSN recently celebrated two new housing initiatives aimed at providing quality, affordable housing with support services in our region. The two housing projects, Atlas Heights and Northwoods, are the products of years of planning and collaboration between multiple agencies and organizations committed to enriching the lives of those in our community.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Atlas Heights
Built with support from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the Atlas Heights Housing Complex brings 40 new affordable housing units to the Town of Plattsburgh off New York Road. Owned and managed by the Plattsburgh Housing Authority, 14 of the units at Atlas Heights have been allocated to provide safe, permanent housing for survivors of domestic violence in partnership with STOP Domestic Violence, a program of BHSN.
The impact of the Atlas Heights project on the lives of domestic violence survivors could not be more profound; safe and affordable housing is the single most needed service in this area for victims of domestic violence. In 2018 STOP Domestic Violence:
- Assisted upwards of 1,300 individual survivors of domestic violence
- Provided over 2,267 bed-nights to 66 individuals and/or their children who resided in the program managed safe dwellings
With a max stay of 90 days in safe dwellings and strains on the affordable housing marketing, securing permanent housing is another obstacle that domestic violence survivors may ultimately face. When permanent housing is not found, survivors and their children are forced to make difficult decisions such as returning to their abuser, finding a loved one willing and able to open their home up to them, or declaring homelessness through the local Department of Social Services.
Helping Survivors Thrive
Made possible via funding awarded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI), a STOP Domestic Violence Housing Navigator will be available on site. The Housing Navigator will provide the tools and supportive services essential for domestic violence survivors to thrive. Support services to be offered include supportive counseling, support groups, crisis intervention, advocacy, assisting in securing employment and childcare. The Housing Navigator will also play a key role in setting and reaching future goals involving education, along with making connections to essential resources within the community.
Connecting with STOP Domestic Violence
BHSN’s STOP Domestic Violence program provides services in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties. STOP is a New York State certified program sponsored by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, which provides services and support to victims of domestic violence and their children. STOP DV offices are located in Plattsburgh, NY, Malone, NY, Westport, NY, Tupper Lake, NY, with a satellite office located on campus at SUNY Plattsburgh. Victims can access support 24 hours a day. For help, please call our hotline at (518)563-6904.
Northwoods Housing Groundbreaking
Hours after the Atlas Heights Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, celebrations continued with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Northwoods Housing development, located off DeGrandpre Way in the Town of Plattsburgh. Similar to Atlas Heights, Northwoods will provide affordable housing to individuals and families whose income that is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income.
Housing Visions Consultants, Inc., a nonprofit developer of affordable housing out of Syracuse, was awarded $10.7 million by New York State’s Office of Homes & Community Renewal for the Northwoods development. In partnership with ETC Housing and BHSN, Housing Visions has set aside 40 units for homeless individuals and families with on-site support services provided through BHSN.
The program will address resident needs through on-site services or community referrals with the overall goal to provide intensive, wraparound services ensuring long-term self-sufficiency and stability in permanent housing to local professionals and residents.
Benefits of Supported Housing
During these challenging times, when affordable housing is strained, BHSN is pleased to be a partner in these two exciting and potentially life-changing initiatives.
According to the NY Department of Health, some of the benefits of supported housing are:
- 40% reduction in overnight hospitalizations
- 26% reduction in Emergency Room visits (noting that now is a critical time keep ER usage low)
- 44% reduction in substance abuse rehab admissions
- 27% reduction in psychiatric inpatient admissions
Mark Lukens, President & CEO of BHSN said, “As a leading provider of integrated care across our region, BHSN understands the physical and mental health impact when an individual’s essential needs, including safe and affordable housing, are left unmet. As the demand for housing in the region increases, BHSN is honored to partner with New York State, Housing Visions and the Plattsburgh Housing Authority on these two exciting and potentially life-changing projects. When we combine safe and affordable housing with physical health, mental health, and numerous other supportive services we have the ability to improve overall health and create greater opportunities for individuals to live with maximum independence and engage more fully in our community.”