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Oswego County Mental Hygiene
OMH Supported Housing
Description: Supported Housing is a New York State Office of Mental Health funded initiative to
improve housing for individuals with a serious mental illness (SMI) in the community. It is a support
which in Oswego County addresses the housing needs of mental health consumers who are living in
open market housing or who are homeless and also seeking permanent low to middle income level
housing. The goal is to assure safe, secure, comfortable and affordable housing to help individuals with
a mental illness to live successfully and independently in the community.
Target Population: Individuals with a SMI who are being discharged from a hospital or are
transitioning to independent living from a higher level of housing support, such as group homes or
supportive apartments, are the primary target population. Homeless individuals with a SMI or those at
risk of becoming homeless are another target population. The limiting criteria however is that a person
meets the level of need reflected in NYSOMH SMI eligibility, and the financial eligibility. Individuals
with significant financial resources of their own would not be eligible.
Eligibility: Any Oswego County resident who is at least 18 years of age with a functionally disabling
serious mental illness which interferes with their success at living in the community is eligible. This
eligibility must be confirmed by a NYS licensed Mental Health Professional.
Program Components: Supported Housing is primarily a financial assistance program, although case
management for housing issues is a major component of the success of the initiative. The program is
administered by Oswego County DSS Adult Services under the direction of the Mental Hygiene
Division. Supported Housing funds are frequently accessed by the Oswego County and Catholic
Charities Mental Health Case Managers and the Oswego Hospital Behavioral Services Division ACT
Team to help address the housing needs of their eligible clients. Participation in these programs however
is not required. A Senior Case Manager for Supported Housing is available to address housing related
support needs of others who meet eligibility criteria. The financial assistance falls into two major
- I: Start-up: This funding addresses needs normally associated with establishing an open market
rental of a housing unit. Assistance can be requested for paying security deposits and purchasing basic
furnishings or household items for a unit. Also possible is minor rehabilitation of a dwelling to make
the unit more habitable for the special needs and comfort of the recipient. These improvements to
property are only for that which is beyond the primary responsibility of the landlord.
- II. Rental: This is funding allocated to make the permanent unit more affordable once it is
established. Affordability is based on the expectation that a client budget 30% of their adjusted income
for rent and utilities. The balance of these costs for a moderately priced open market unit can be paid
with a Supported Housing Rental Stipend. The rental stipend may continue until the recipient becomes
self sufficient or eligible for alternative assistance. Contingency funds are budgeted to help immediately
pay rent homeless individuals or to address housing issues and expenses which may lead to
homelessness. There is a set amount of budgeted rental stipends. It is possible that an individual may
be placed on a waitlist.
For More Information, contact:
John Heretyk, Sr. Case Manager 963-5532