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Office of Mental Health

Supported Housing For Adult Home Residents
Request For Proposal
Questions and Answers

Geography/Apartment Location | Adult Home Groupings | Fiscal | Phases of Allocation | Applicant Eligibility
Resident Demographics/DOH | SH Guidelines | Responsibilities of Clinical/Program Staff | Miscellaneous

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Notice

Please note that question 12 highlights an error on the Agency Transmittal Form (Appendix D) which includes language that should have been deleted from the form, and that bidders do not have to respond to. Please also make note of question number 47 which outlines the need for bidders to submit separate budgets for each grouping they are bidding on.

Geography/Apartment Location

Question 1
Which New York City County is excluded?

The RFP announcement stated that “The Supported Housing units to be developed under this RFP are for a defined population; adults living in one of the 28 identified homes within four counties of New York City.”  Appendix B (PDF) of this RFP lists the 28 homes and the four counties in which all 28 are geographically located:  Bronx, Kings, Queens, and Richmond.  While the 28 adult homes are in located in these four counties, it is certainly possible that some adult home residents may wish to live in a supported apartment in Manhattan and there is no intent to exclude Manhattan as a possible site for a Supported Apartment.  In fact, geographic choice for Adult Home residents must be accommodated whenever possible. 

Question  2
Does OMH expect AH residents will be only be relocated to apartments in the allocated Group's geographic area?  I.E., if we are allocated Group 1, must we relocate residents only to apartments in the Bronx?

No.  Geographic choice for Adult Home residents must be accommodated whenever possible. 

Question 3
If a resident of a Group 1 Home wants to live in Queens and we are capable of locating an apartment there and providing ongoing supported housing services, can we do so?

Yes.  Geographic choice for Adult Home residents must be accommodated whenever possible.  However, if a contractor does not have the capability to identify an apartment in another borough, in order to accommodate the geographic choice of the resident, it is expected that there will be consultation with one or more other contractors in an attempt to locate a suitable supported housing unit and services for the resident.  If a supported housing unit is identified for such resident by another contractor, the supported housing unit and the resources for such unit would be reallocated to the contractor that identified such unit. 

Question 4
Does the adult home resident have to be moved into "supported" housing or can they move to an SRO or CR with the goal to attain skills necessary for successful living in supported housing?

All residents have the right to move where ever they would like; however the supported housing units available through this RFP are designated only for individuals meeting criteria as described in Section 5.2 (PDF) of this RFP.  These units cannot be filled by anyone other than an individual coming directly from an Adult Home located in one of the eight groupings listed on Appendix C (PDF).  Section 5.2 (PDF), Objectives and Responsibilities states ”the winning bidder would be expected to assist individuals who have been identified as meeting eligibility criteria and who expressed a desire to move somewhere other than Supported Housing with fulfilling this goal.”

Question 5
Can an agency request beds in all of the listed boroughs?

The bidding is on a “group(s)” which indicates the number of units and county.  The groups are listed on Appendix C (PDF).

Question 6
Can the supported apartments be located outside of the area the adult home is in?

Yes.  Because resident choice of geographical location is an important goal it is possible that some residents may prefer to live in neighborhoods or boroughs other than where the adult home is located, or some residents may even prefer to live outside of the city of New York. 

It is also possible that resident choice could result in the need to reallocate supported housing units and funding from one successful bidder to another for those residents who will remain in the city (See Section 4.3.2 of the RFP (PDF)).  Further, if the person will reside in a supported housing unit outside of the city, units and funding may be reallocated to supported housing providers located outside of the city (See section 4.3.2 (2) of the RFP (PDF)).

Question 7
Can apartments be located in alternate boroughs than the adult home is in?

Yes.  However, the location of the apartment should be based on resident choice and affordability. 

Adult Home Groupings

Question 8
Must we propose to develop all of the allocated units for a particular Group, or can we propose to develop a portion of them?  If the latter, should we indicate which home(s) we would serve?

Section 1.1 on page 5 of the RFP (PDF) indicates that “OMH has developed eight groupings of Adult Homes (see Appendix C (PDF)) based on the number of individuals with mental illness in each Adult Home, geographic proximity to the other homes, and the desire to create manageable sized contracts.  Bidders may apply to provide services to as many groups as desired but will be selected to serve no more than one group except as provided in Sections 4.3.1 and 4.3.2. (PDF)”  This RFP was structured to divide the required development of units in an orderly manner between contractors.  Changing the groupings listed in Appendix C (PDF) would represent a material change to the RFP, therefore a proposal to develop only a portion of a grouping from Appendix C (PDF) would be disqualified. 

Question 9
Just to clarify is there a maximum or minimum number of beds an agency can propose to open? 

Applicants must apply for at least one of eight groupings.  You must bid on an entire group.  You can bid on more than one grouping; however you cannot split up any groups. For example, if you bid on Group 1, you are applying for all 455 units to serve eligible individuals residing in three different Adult Homes: Bronxwood, Parkview Home for Adults and Riverdale Manor Home for Adults. Of the total 455, 153 units must be developed in year one of this RFP.  The number of units varies from grouping to grouping.  For example, if you are applying for Group 1 or Group 2 you are applying for 455 and 571 units, respectively.

Question 10
Are applicants required to provide housing for an entire grouping?  Is there a minimum number of units applicants are required to apply for?

Applicants must apply for at least one of eight groupings.  See answer to previous question number 9 above

Question 11
Please explain the difference in total numbers by Group and Grand Total on Appendix C (PDF) - difference between 2009 MH Census and Three-year allocation of Supported Housing Units.

The awards will authorize up to 4500 Supported Housing Units. Per the United States District Court Memorandum and Order dated September 8, 2009 which set forth Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the Court, citing the Department of Health 2008 Census Report, found that there were twenty-eight impacted adult homes in New York City with more than 120 beds.  Consistent with the March 1, 2010 United States District Court Remedial Order and Judgment, the number of residents is derived from the DOH 2009 Census of Adult Care Facilities.  According to the DOH 2009 census, there are 4,102 people with mental illness living in these 28 Adult Homes within Bronx, Kings, Queens, and Richmond Counties. 

Question 12
Could you please clarify what information the following question on the transmittal sheet is asking for: "Number of units/county group requested by county:"

Please disregard this text “Number of units/county group requested by county” which appears on Appendix D (PDF) Agency Transmittal Form.  All of the information we require is included in the table to be completed below it which is labeled “Preference (1-8) Groups.”

Question 13
What is the maximum number of beds an agency can request?

The agency may apply to provide services to as many groups as desired but will be selected to serve no more than one group except as provided in Section 4.3.1 and 4.3.2 (PDF). 

Question 14
What is the maximum number of Supported Housing units that an agency awarded a contract can locate in one building/property? Are there any restriction on the number or percentage of units allowed in a single building that mixes community and special needs units? If so, what are they and what is the method, and/or rationale for determining this figure?

Section 5.2 (PDF), labeled “Objectives and Responsibilities” page 16, last paragraph indicates “Supported Housing is scattered site, integrated housing, the goal of which is to provide individuals with a setting in which they live in their own apartments and are enabled to interact with nondisabled persons to the fullest extent possible, and which consists of rental apartments scattered among various buildings throughout a community.”  This will be discussed during the training for providers who receive awards. 

Question 15
How many beds are we requesting?  Do we have to do the RFP based on the entire population of the group we want? That is, if one of the eight groups has 600 potential clients, do we have to do an RFP for 200 clients (to be repeated next year and the year after) or 600 clients, based on the whole expectation?  Will this be re-released next year to get the second phase or does an RFP cover all three years?  Each year, do we get the same budget/staffing pattern?

You must bid on an entire group.  For example, if you bid on Group 1, you are applying for 455 units.  Of this number, 153 units must be developed in year one of this RFP.  Each client is funded at a rate of $14,654 per year.  This RFP covers all three years. Section 4.3 fully explains the process for awarding contracts in phase 2 and phase 3.

Question 16
If we can ask for less, if 50 beds is required for the in-reach staff, are we asking for 50 or for 150 (50 for each phase)?  Can they be for different groupings? Can they be Brooklyn and Queens (25 and 25) or would it need to be 50 for each?  Would this be two RFPs or the same RFPs with two groupings of Adult Homes for referrals?

You must bid on an entire group.  You can bid on more than one group; however you cannot split up any groups. For example, if you bid on Group 1, you are applying for 455 beds to serve eligible individuals residing in three different Adult Homes: Bronxwood, Parkview Home for Adults and Riverdale Manor Home for Adults. Of the total 455, 153 units must be developed in year one of this RFP.  Each client is funded at a rate of $14,654 per year.  In addition to funding each client in Supported Housing, the award made through this RFP will also generally fund, for each of the three phases, one clinician and one peer bridger staff position for every 50 units.  This is calculated according to the contractor’s allocation for the first phase.  The contractor will be responsible for conducting in-reach and assessment for all units awarded through each of the three phases.

Question 17
On Appendix D (PDF), please clarify how and where proposers should we state how many clients we are proposing to house in each group that is ranked.  Must the number of beds in each group be the same? Is there a minimum or maximum number of beds that can be proposed?  Does the number of beds have to be in increments of 50? Do we need to rank all 8 groupings?

Applicants must apply for at least one of eight groupings.  The number of units varies from grouping to grouping.  For example, if you apply for Group 1 or Group 2 you are applying for 455 and 571 units, respectively.   When indicating your preferences on the Agency Transmittal Form (Appendix D (PDF)) only include those groups you are willing to serve. 

Question 18
What is the maximum and minimum bed allocation for each proposal?

Applicants must apply for at least one of eight groupings.  Use Appendix D (PDF) to specify your preference in rank order. See answer to previous question number 9 above.

Question 19
For the adult home grouping we choose, are we bound to take residents from each and every home listed or just who is deemed appropriate for housing?  For example, is there a certain allotment that must be taken from each home or just the grouping?

A provider must agree to serve all eligible adult home residents residing in each and every adult home listed in that particular grouping.  Eligibility is described in Section 5.2 (PDF) of this RFP.   In addition, providers must provide in-reach and assessment in all of the adult homes in their grouping to develop relationships with Adult Home staff and residents to build trust and actively support residents in moving to Supported Housing.

Appendix C (PDF) includes DOH’s 2009 Mental Health Census for each adult home. It also lists the total number of supported housing units to be developed for each grouping across each of the three phases.  Agencies are expected to use this census information as a guide.  For example if you are bidding on Group 1, approximately 38 individuals would be eligible from Bronxwood Adult Home, 124 individuals from Parkview Home for Adults, and 252 individuals from Riverdale Manor home for Adults.

Question 20
Does the successful bidder have to take all of the beds in a specific group or can they take a subset of the beds?

Successful bidders must take all of the beds in a specific group.  Section 1.1 on page 5 of the RFP (PDF) indicates that “OMH has developed eight groupings of Adult Homes (see Appendix C (PDF)) based on the number of individuals with mental illness in each Adult Home, geographic proximity to the other homes, and the desire to create manageable sized contracts.  Bidders may apply to provide services to as many groups as desired but will be selected to serve no more than one group except as provided in Sections 4.3.1 and 4.3.2 (PDF).”  This RFP was structured to divide the required development of units in an orderly manner between contractors.  Changing the groupings listed in Appendix C (PDF) would represent a material change to the RFP, therefore a proposal to develop only a portion of a grouping from Appendix C (PDF) would be disqualified. 

Of course, under section 1.1 of the RFP (PDF), an eligible agency may partner with one or more other eligible agencies, with one agency designated as the lead.  If such a partnership is established, the agencies must develop a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) demonstrating how collaboration will be achieved. 

Question 21
How many one bedroom and two bedroom apartments?

Single units vs. roommates will be based on individual choice.  The RFP does not specify a particular apartment mix.

Question 22
On page 16 and elsewhere the RFP mentions contractors receiving referrals for the Supported Housing units they are developing.  Aside from Adult Home residents referred by a contractor's own in-reach and assessment staff, where else might these referrals come from?

Page 16 of the RFP, second paragraph indicates “Contractors must maintain documentation of all in-reach, assessment activities and referrals made to these Supported Housing units.”  Referrals from the contracted agencies’ own in-reach team would indeed be the primary if not the only source of referrals to the agency’s Supported Housing staff.  Should a referral come in directly to the Supported Housing staff from some other source (e.g. family member, adult home staff, or other service provider) that referral would also need to be documented and forwarded to the appropriate in-reach staff. 

Fiscal

Question 23
Is the $14,564 that will be awarded to grantees a per unit or per client amount?  We are asking because there may be more than one client in each unit, especially for 2 bedroom apartments.

The rate is $14,654 per client, per year.

Question 24
If we propose to develop and are allocated 455 units for Group 1, we will hire at least 3 professional clinical level staff and 3 peer bridgers to do in-reach and assessment.  We will be funded $450,000/phase for each of the 3 phases for these services, assuming no units are reallocated.  At the end of Phase 3, the funding for the clinical staff and peer bridgers will cease.

Funding for the clinic and peer bridger staff is based on the first phase unit allocation (see Appendix C (PDF)), and will continue at that level for the remaining two phases, unless, for some reason, there is a reallocation of units. Funding will continue until the completion of phase three, at which time, the funding for the clinical and peer bridger staff would be discontinued.

Each contractor will be expected to provide a minimum of one professional clinical level staff and one peer bridger per every 50 units, at a funded amount of $150,000 per 50 units. 

For example:  Group 1 has a first phase unit allocation of 153 units, which would require a minimum of three clinical staff and three peer bridger staff.  Funding for these positions would be determined by multiplying the $150,000 per 50 units/per year -- times a factor of 3.06 (153/50), for total funding of $459,000. Funding for the initial period would be pro-rated, based upon start date of contract. 

Question 25
Is the budget $14,654 to cover the In-reach & Assessment or there are additional fund for it?

No, that funding is for rent stipends, Supported Housing services and contingency funds, as specified in the Supported Housing Guidelines.  Additional funding for enhanced staffing to perform the in-reach and assessments is provided (see page 18 of the RFP (PDF)).  However, during the start up phase providers may use some of the supported housing funding to enhance in reach efforts as indicated in section 5.4 (PDF) labeled “Operating Funding” which states “In addition to enhanced staffing for in-reach and assessment, it is expected contractors will use a portion of the Supported Housing funds to enhance the initial in-reach and assessment functions.” 

Question 26
Do we submit the three phases budgets?

Appendix E (PDF) (Operating Budgets Year 1, 2, &3) provides the budget format that should be used to submit the proposed budget for all three phases.  You should submit a separate operational budget for each group you are bidding on. For example, if you are bidding on Group 1, Group 3, and Group 5, you would submit a total of three operational budgets, one specific to each group. The operational budget(s) would be based upon the number of units in the groups(s.) For example, if you bid on Group 1 you would include in your budget the amount needed for 455 units over three phases.

Question 27
Please clarify what is meant by the following: "funding for professional clinical staff and peer bridger staff will be provided based on the first phase unit allocation" (Section 5.4, Paragraph 3 (PDF)).

See response to question #24.

Question 28
Is it true that supported housing staff (excluding the professional clinical level staff and peer bridger) are funded by the NY Supported Housing stipend ($14,654)?

Yes.

Question 29
Is a minimum of 50 units per year required for the additional $150K funding?

The level of funding for enhanced staffing (clinical and peer bridger staff) to provide in-reach and assessments is based on the first phase unit allocation for each of the eight groups to be awarded (see Appendix C (PDF)).

Funding will continue at that level for the remaining two phases, unless, for some reason, there is a reallocation of units. Upon the completion of phase three, the funding for the clinical and peer bridger staff would be discontinued. 

Question 30
Will funding for the additional clinical level staff and peer bridger be prorated based on the number of units?  For example, if the number of units is 75 per year, will the additional funding equal $225K per year?

Yes.  See response to question #24.

Question 31
Is the funding for the additional clinical staff and peer bridger staff be funded through the life of the contract?

See response to question #24.

Question 32
Given that the lowest rents for studio units in Brooklyn, per craigslist, start at $700, and that it's likely the average rents for all units will easily exceed $1,000 per month, will there be additional social services funds available? 

No additional social service funds to subsidize rental costs will be allocated through this RFP.

Question 33
Will there be any wrap around funds for individuals that require added assistance/support once admitted to Supported Housing?

No additional wrap around funds will be allocated through this RFP.

Question 34
According to the RFP, the contract will be written for a total of five years, with an initial period of one year and four annual renewals dependent upon appropriated funding. Does this mean that the contractors who receive an initial award and four renewals cannot request more funding? If no, A) Does NYS OMH believe that the residents of the Supported Housing units should be able to transition to independent living after this period? B) or does NYS OMH expect contractors receiving an award to seek other funding sources to ensure that these residents continue to reside in Supported Housing units as long as necessary?

The five year contract period is the standard cycle for OMH Local Assistance contracts.  While OMH cannot guarantee funding which is subject to appropriation; cannot guarantee the issuance of new contracts for providers chosen under this RFP after the five year contract period; nor anticipate other developments five years from now - the RFP is not intended to imply that after the five year period contract agencies would be ineligible to apply for another contract period.    

Question 35
How will the contingency fund work?  Will it have to be spent down at the end of each fiscal year?  Does it have to be separate and distinct?  As long as we are meeting clients fiscal needs does the process matter?  Can it be carried over year to year like a reserve account?

Contractors will receive annual funding for units developed under this initiative though an OMH contract at the current New York City Supported Housing stipend (currently $14,654 per unit). This funding is for rent stipends and Supported Housing services, and contingency funds, as specified in the Supported Housing Guidelines.

Contingency Funds allow the provider to resolve situations that place the recipient at-risk of losing his or her housing.  Eligible expenditures for contingency funds include: furniture storage; rent payment if someone is hospitalized; minor repairs if not the responsibility of the landlord and other reasonable housing related emergency problems.

The entire Supported Housing stipend, including resources for contingency funds, are to be used each year.  The funds do not have to be separate and cannot be carried over from year to year.

Question 36
Is the $150,000 per 50 clients for the life of the contract? Does it become eliminated after the first year?  After the beds are filled?  After all three phases of beds are filled?  If we have to apply for all the beds and we apply for 600 - 200 per year; will the second year come with additional in-reach staff?  Would the $150,000 be sustained to cover the continuance of the original in-reach staff?

See response to question #24.

Question 37
Considering potential unmet needs of population after placement, is there a possibility of a rate enhancement to provide for a smaller than typical Case Management/Client ratio?

The Supported Housing Stipend does not include funds for case management services. The existing case management models include Intensive Case Management (ICM), Supportive Case Management (SCM) and Blended Case Management (BCM) and remain as services available to Adult Home residents as they move to Supported Housing. The funding for those services is not expected to change.

Question 38
If OMH exercises its right to cancel contracts, decline to seek further funding, or modify contracts or renewal terms, what assistance or assurance, if any, will OMH give so contractors can meet obligations to residents, landlords or staff?

The RFP states that providers will get a 90 day advance written notice if a contract is being cancelled and that funding for occupied units would be maintained.  Please see Section 4.3.3 on page 13 of the RFP (PDF).

Question 39
Is their available funding for startup costs such as furniture, bedding, appliances etc…? items needed by the residents in their new apartments. If so what is the amount available per unit?

The Supported Housing stipend of $14,654 per client per year, provided through the contract between NYS OMH and winning bidders, can be used for startup costs, including broker fees, security deposits, furniture, moving expenses and other expenses by the residents in their new apartments. OMH expects that on average the first three months will be used for startup costs and then the unit will be occupied.

Question 40
With regard to the extra $150,000 funding per year for three years, what is the appropriate salary breakdown between the clinical staff and bridger?

Each contractor will be expected to provide a minimum of one professional clinical level staff and one peer bridger per every 50 units, at a funded amount of $150,000. There is no predetermined salary breakdown between the clinical staff and peer bridger staff. 

Question 41
Please explain how to show in the budget how contractors will show use of a portion of the Supported Housing funds to enhance the initial in-reach and assessment functions Section 5.4 (PDF)?

Appendix E (PDF) – Operating Budget (Year 1, 2 and 3) should keep the Supported Housing funding and, in-reach and assessment funding separate.  Contractors should also use the budget narrative to explain how they will use Supported Housing funds to enhance the initial in-reach and assessment functions.

Question 42
Is the $150,000 allotted for both salaries of the professional clinical staff and peer bridger annually?

Yes.  Each contractor will be expected to provide a minimum of one professional clinical level staff and one peer bridger per every 50 units, at a funded amount of $150,000 per 50 units.

Funding is based on the first phase unit allocation (see Appendix C (PDF)), and will continue at that level for the remaining two phases, unless, for some reason, there is a reallocation of units. Upon the completion of phase three, the funding for the clinical and peer bridger staff would be discontinued.   

Question 43
Do we include the Peer Bridger staff and the Professional Clinical Staff in the budget or we submit a separate budget?

Only one budget should be submitted.  Appendix E (PDF) of the RFP is the operating budget template.  The staffing section is at the bottom of Appendix E (PDF) and includes all positions.

Question 44
Is there a separate budget for start up costs?

No. See #2 of Section 5.5.6 - Financial Assessment (Page 22 of the RFP) (PDF).

Question 45
Can the funding for the clinical in-reach worker and peer bridger be used to support other PS lines?

No.

Question 46
Is the 30% of client income contribution in addition to the OMH stipend? (or, is 30% assumed within the stipend?)?

The 30% client contribution is in addition to the OMH stipend.  Funding for scattered site Supported Housing is a combination of client rent payments and OMH funds. Residents of Supported Housing are required to pay 30 percent of their income for rent and reasonable utilities. Contractors will receive annual funding for units developed under this initiative through an OMH contract at the current New York City Supported Housing stipend (currently $14,654 per unit). This funding is for rent stipends, Supported Housing services and contingency funds, as specified in the Supported Housing Guidelines.

Question 47
Is there a minimum number of beds that need to be included in our budget?

You should submit a separate operational budget for each group you are bidding on. For example, if you are bidding on Group 1, Group 3, and Group 5, you would submit a total of three operational budgets, one specific to each group. The operational budget(s) would be based upon the number of units in the groups(s.) For example, if you bid on Group 1 you would include in your budget the amount needed for 455 units over three phases.

Phases of Allocation

Question 48
Section 5.5.4, question 3 asks us to describe the agency's capacity to successfully find apartments and relocate a large number of adult home residents.  They give as an example the numbers 150 - 200 per year.  Is this the number of residents we will be expected to house each year if we are selected?  What if this takes longer due to complex medical needs and mental illness?

The awards for each group are phased in over a 3 year period. As per appendix C, year one allocation of Supported Housing units is listed per group.  Section 4.3.1. describes the initial award and allocations as it refers to achievement of occupancy.

Question 49
Upon requesting the number of beds, is it appropriate to ask for the total number of beds after all three phases of implementation or the number per year.  For example, if we would like to 150 beds total, is it appropriate to ask for 50 per year or just 150 total?

The awards for each group are phased in over a 3 year period. As per appendix C, year one allocation of Supported Housing units is listed per group.  Section 4.3.1. describes the initial award and allocations as it refers to achievement of occupancy.

Question 50
If an agency applies for 50 units in phase one, is there an assumption that the agency will be awarded a total of 150 units?

The awards for each group are phased in over a 3 year period. As per appendix C, year one allocation of Supported Housing units is listed per group.  Section 4.3.1. describes the initial award and allocations as it refers to achievement of occupancy.

Question 51
Will phase two and three be awarded from the same borough as phase one?

Yes.

Applicant Eligibility

Question 52
New Horizon Counseling Center, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation that is OMH licensed and has over 30 years experience of providing mental health services to patients in the NYC area. We currently provide services in the homes designated in the RFP.   We have no experience in supported housing; however we have arranged, referred, supported and assisted residents to move out of the adult homes via our case management program which is contracted by OMH.   I would like to know if we are eligible to bid for this RFP.

Bidders must demonstrate experience providing both housing and mental health support services to individuals with mental illness in NYC in order to be considered "eligible agencies" (see full criteria in Section 2.6, on page 6 of the RFP (PDF)).   Providers or agencies that do not meet the "eligible agency" criteria of section 2.6 cannot enter into "partnerships" with eligible agencies. However, a provider or agency that does not qualify as an eligible agency is not prohibited by the RFP from entering into a contract with a successful bidder to provide certain services. 

Question 53
It states that only NYC agencies are eligible for this RFP.  In the reserved rights it states OMH reserves the right to waive any requirements that are not material could an agency outside of NYC be considered under this or is the region of the agency considered too material?

Section 2.6 (on page 6) of the RFP (PDF) states:

"Agencies eligible to respond to this RFP are: (1) not-for-profit agencies with 501(c) (3) incorporation that have experience providing housing and mental health support services to individuals with mental illness in New York City, and who receive funding from OMH or the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for those programs, or (2) a partnership of agencies meeting the criteria set forth in (1), with one agency designated as the lead."

If your agency has “experience providing housing and mental health support services to individuals with mental illness in New York City, etc.” your agency would be considered an eligible agency as defined in this RFP.  The geographic location of the agency’s administrative offices or headquarters is not the deciding factor in determining an agency’s eligibility, but rather the agency’s experience providing housing and services in NYCOMH considers meeting the definition of eligible agency as material.  

Question 54
We are in the process of reviewing the Supported Housing for Adult Home Residents RFP that was recently released.  We are an OMH funded bi-county housing agency that has licensed and non-licensed housing in both Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.  We do not currently offer housing within New York city or any of the five boroughs.

In section 2.6 (on page 6) of the RFP (PDF) there is the following criterion regarding eligible agencies:

"Agencies eligible to respond to this RFP are: (1) not-for-profit agencies with 501(c) (3) incorporation that have experience providing housing and mental health support services to individuals with mental illness in New York City, and who receive funding from OMH or the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for those programs, or (2) a partnership of agencies meeting the criteria set forth in (1), with one agency designated as the lead."

Since Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services Inc. does not currently offer housing in New York City does this mean we are not eligible to submit a proposal through this RFP?

Your interpretation of the language quoted from section 2.6, of the RFP, labeled “Eligible Agencies” is correct.  Because your agency does not have experience providing housing and mental health services to individuals with mental illness in New York City, your agency does not fit the RFP definition of an eligible agency, therefore any proposal submitted responsive to this particular RFP would have to be disqualified. 

Question 55
My agency provides supportive housing to persons living with HIV/AIDS. Can we propose to serve exclusively HIV+ Adult Home residents through this RFP?

No.  As outlined in the RFP, the Remedial Order sets forth the supported housing eligibility criteria as:

  • Individual adults aged 18 and older who have a mental illness, and
  • Are living in one of the 28 New York State Department of Health Licensed Adult Care Facilities or Residences for Adults (Appendix B (PDF)) located within the four identified counties of New York City.

While there may be residents with HIV and mental illness living in these homes, the Order clearly defines who the constituents are as stated above.  As such, the RFP is structured to require providers to work with all constituents as defined in the order.

Resident Demographics/DOH

Question 56
In order to move into supported housing, a consumer will need HRA approval for that level of care (living alone).  In our experience, HRA will not approve consumers for that level of care if HRA does not believe they are ready.  We have seen HRA reject a number of people from state psychiatric hospitals for supported housing.  What is OMH's plan if substantial numbers of adult home residents are rejected for supported housing?

Under Section 5.2 (PDF) paragraph nine, third bullet, “No application for New York City Supported Housing through the New York City Human Resources Administration or Single Point of Access is necessary to be eligible for Supported Housing under this RFP.”

Question 57
Does an individual need an HRA to apply or to get accepted to Supported Housing'?

Under Section 5.2 (PDF) paragraph nine, third bullet, “No application for New York City Supported Housing through the New York City Human Resources Administration or Single Point of Access is necessary to be eligible for Supported Housing under this RFP.”

Question 58
If the contractor deems that wraparound services (e.g., ACT, ICM) are necessary for a potential tenant to meet obligations, but such services are not available, is the provider required accept tenant absent services?

Individuals moving from adult homes into apartments will have access to services which will meet their treatment (health and mental health) needs.  A care coordination organization may assist housing providers in accessing appropriate services. 

Question 59
What is profile of current residents? E.g., Average age, age range, length of Stay in adult home.

Based on a 2003 survey, residents were on average, 56 years old, and ranged from 23 to 97 years old.   While length of stay in an adult home was not formally measured, we're aware it can range from a few months to many years.

Question 60
Why does the RFP not allow backfill (i.e. placement in a licensed supportive housing unit that is vacated by a resident moving to supported housing funded under the RFP) when this arrangement is voluntary and consistent with court orders?

The Remedial Order and Judgment clearly states that only Supported Housing is being developed and these units cannot be filled by anyone other than the identified group of constituents in the order, namely residents living in one of the 28 adult homes listed in Appendix B (PDF).  However, providers are expected to assist individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and express the desire to live in some other form of housing other than Supported Housing. 

Question 61
Does OMH have an ethnic background of each adult home?

Some demographic statistics may be available.  Available data will be reviewed at the OMH/DOH sponsored training that will be completed by agencies awarded contracts. 

Question 62
Would you accept a proposal that only targets a certain group because they can provide culturally competence services?

No, a provider must agree to serve all adult home residents from a particular grouping regardless of their ethnicity. 

Question 63
In addition to training provided to contractors and terms of the Remedial Order and Judgment, what other supports, mechanisms, legal requirements, incentives, etc are available to induce operators and staff of New York City Adult Homes (1) to cooperate with contractors in the process of in-reach, (2) to provide access to Adult Home residents, (3) to facilitate assessments, and (4) to encourage eligible residents to consider moving out of the Adult Home into Supported Housing units?

It is the expectation of the Department of Health that the Adult Home staff will cooperate with the in-reach process.  On September 9, 2010, the State of New York Department of Health (DOH) issued a "Dear Administrator Letter" (DAL) to each of the Adult Home Administrators listed in Appendix B (PDF) of this RFP.  The purpose of the DAL was to clarify the role of the adult homes under the March 1, 2010, Remedial Order and Judgment (Appendix A Leaving OMH site (PDF) of this RFP).  This DAL can be viewed at: http://www.nyhealth.gov/facilities/adult_care/litigation/dal_10-09_remedial_order_and_judgement.htm Leaving OMH site

In addition, DOH expects to be informed at 1-866-893-6772 should any provider or resident encounter problems with access to one another during the in-reach process. 

Question 64
What framework has been established with the Department of Health regarding collaboration with adult home owners in the implementation of the court order?

On September 9, 2010, the State of New York Department of Health (DOH) issued a "Dear Administrator Letter" (DAL) to each of the Adult Home Administrators listed in Appendix B (PDF) of this RFP.  The purpose of the DAL was to clarify the role of the adult homes under the March 1, 2010, Remedial Order and Judgment (Appendix A Leaving OMH site (PDF) of this RFP).  This DAL can be viewed at: http://www.nyhealth.gov/facilities/adult_care/litigation/dal_10-09_remedial_order_and_judgement.htm Leaving OMH site

Question 65
Does OMH have lists of the names of individuals meeting criteria for housing placement?

The Remedial Order (Appendix A Leaving OMH site (PDF)) indicates on page 7, number 10 that we "shall deem DAI's Constituents qualified for supported housing unless they have one of the following specific characteristics:  (a) severe dementia, (b) a high level of skilled nursing needs that cannot be met in supported housing with services provided by Medicaid home care or waiver services, or (c) are likely to cause imminent danger to themselves or others.  The determination of whether such a condition exists shall be made by the providers awarded contracts to develop supported housing and conduct in-reach...If such a condition is found to exist, the individual may still be deemed qualified for supported housing if the provider determines, after further assessment and subject to the concurrence of OMH, that the individual could be served successfully in supported housing."  Therefore, the individuals who are qualified for supported housing under the Remedial Order will be determined by the providers awarded contracts and as such, no list of names exists. 

Page one of the Remedial Order defines DAI's constituents as "individuals with mental illness residing in, or at risk of entry into, adult homes in new York City with more than 120 beds and in which 25 residents or 25% of the resident population (whichever is fewer) have a mental illness (the "Adult Homes")  

Currently adult homes are required to report various data, including the number of residents in each of the 28 adult homes (Appendix B (PDF)) who have a mental health diagnosis to DOH on a yearly basis.  Once contracts for providers are in place, DOH plans to increase the frequency with which the 28 Adult Homes will be required to report this data.  Currently, the Adult Homes are not required to provide a resident specific list of names to DOH, but rather just aggregate data. OMH and DOH are currently working on how providers might access the resident specific mental health census list generated annually by the Adult Home operators and this will be discussed in more detail at the OMH/DOH sponsored training that will be completed by each of the selected agencies.

Question 66
Has there been any prioritization of the names?

No.  Given that the providers awarded contracts will be determining eligibility of each resident as defined in the Remedial Order, no list of eligible resident names currently exists.  However, currently adult homes are required to report various data, including the number of residents in each of the 28 adult homes (Appendix B (PDF)) who have a mental health diagnosis to DOH on a yearly basis.   Once contracts for providers are in place, DOH plans to increase the frequency with which the 28 Adult Homes will be required to report this data.  Currently, the Adult Homes are not required to provide a resident specific list of names to DOH, but rather just aggregate data. OMH and DOH are currently working on how providers might access the resident specific mental health census list generated annually by the Adult Home operators and this will be discussed in more detail at the OMH/DOH sponsored training that will be completed by each of the selected agencies.

Question 67
Will providers have access to the list of names?

Currently adult homes are required to report various data, including the number of residents in each of the 28 adult homes (Appendix B (PDF)) who have a mental illness to DOH on a yearly basis.  Once contracts for providers are in place DOH plans to increase the frequency with which the 28 Adult Homes will be required to report this data.  Currently, the Adult Homes are not required to provide a resident specific list of names to DOH, but rather just aggregate data. OMH and DOH are currently working on how providers might access the resident specific mental health census list generated annually by the Adult Home operators and this will be discussed in more detail at the OMH/DOH sponsored training that will be completed by each of the selected agencies.

Question 68
Will providers have access to any record information re: identified consumers, e.g. co-providers, dx, etc?

In addition to the Adult Homes’ resident files, adult home residents are likely to be receiving services from various other health and mental health providers.  Access to this protected health information (PHI) by agencies awarded contracts will require the residents’ written consent.  OMH and DOH are currently developing a template that the agencies awarded contracts may use to develop a consent form that will authorize the necessary disclosures of PHI to such agencies.   This issue will be discussed in more detail at the OMH/DOH sponsored training that will be completed by each of the selected agencies. 

Question 69
Conducting frequent and effective in reach is also stipulated in the proposal. Effective in reach and assessment will be successful if staff visits frequently and engage, as well as assess individuals. However, a relationship must be formed with Adult Home Administration as well, in order to achieve the desired outcome. Will the Adult Home Administration/Staff be open to our in reach/assessment and be supportive with the agency in regards to this new initiative?

It is the expectation of the Department of Health that the Adult Home staff will cooperate with the in-reach process.  On September 9, 2010, the State of New York Department of Health (DOH) issued a "Dear Administrator Letter" (DAL) to each of the Adult Home Administrators listed in Appendix B (PDF) of this RFP.  The purpose of the DAL was to clarify the role of the adult homes under the March 1, 2010, Remedial Order and Judgment (Appendix A Leaving OMH site (PDF) of this RFP).  This DAL can be viewed at: http://www.nyhealth.gov/facilities/adult_care/litigation/dal_10-09_remedial_order_and_judgement.htm Leaving OMH site

In addition, DOH expects to be informed at 1-866-893-6772 should any provider or resident encounter problems with access to one another during the in-reach process. 

SH Guidelines

Question 70
Is there a limit on the number of units a provider may rent in one building to provide Supported Housing to the clients being discharged from Adult Homes? Are there any restriction on the number or percentage of units allowed in a single building that mixes community and special needs units? If so, what are they and what is the method, and/or rationale for determining this figure?

Section 5.2 (PDF), labeled “Objectives and Responsibilities” page 16, last paragraph indicates “Supported Housing is scattered site, integrated housing, the goal of which is to provide individuals with a setting in which they live in their own apartments and are enabled to interact with nondisabled persons to the fullest extent possible, and which consists of rental apartments scattered among various buildings throughout a community.”  This will be discussed during the training for providers who receive awards. 

Question 71
Do the same site regulations apply to the Adult Home placements as applied to all other mental health housing?

Supported Housing is scattered site, integrated housing, which consists of rental apartments scattered among various buildings throughout a community. OMH does not certify Supported Housing, although all apartments must have a Valid Certificate of Occupancy.  Given that the apartments leased as part of this initiative will be scattered throughout the community we do not anticipate that community notification will be necessary. 

Question 72
Are three-bedroom apartments allowed in this RFP?

Yes.  However the deciding factor of whether a resident lives alone or with others shall be the informed, individualized choice of each such resident.

Question 73
Is there a restriction on the number of apartments leased in a mixed-use apartment building?

Section 5.2 (PDF), labeled “Objectives and Responsibilities” page 16, last paragraph indicates “Supported Housing is scattered site, integrated housing, the goal of which is to provide individuals with a setting in which they live in their own apartments and are enabled to interact with nondisabled persons to the fullest extent possible, and which consists of rental apartments scattered among various buildings throughout a community.”  This will be discussed during the training for providers who receive awards. 

Question 74
How does NYS OMH define scattered site housing/integrated housing?

Section 5.2 (PDF), labeled “Objectives and Responsibilities” page 16, last paragraph indicates “Supported Housing is scattered site, integrated housing, the goal of which is to provide individuals with a setting in which they live in their own apartments and are enabled to interact with nondisabled persons to the fullest extent possible, and which consists of rental apartments scattered among various buildings throughout a community.”  This will be discussed during the training for providers who receive awards. 

Question 75
The OMH Supported Housing Guidelines state, "Wherever possible, in instances where two or more Supported Housing recipients share a housing unit, each recipient should have a private bedroom."  Are there any other guidelines or requirements regarding the sharing of apartments between Supported Housing recipients? For example, do bedrooms require locked doors, a minimum size in terms of square feet, etc?

There are no OMH licensing requirements for Supported Housing.  All buildings in which apartments are located must have a valid Certificate of Occupancy.  In instances where roommates are involved, the agency must facilitate cooperative arrangements on bill payments, division of household responsibilities and other matters. In addition, a copy of the OMH Supported Housing Guidelines is posted on OMH’s website at http://www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/adults/SupportedHousing/SupportedHousingGuidelines.html  and should be reviewed prior to responding to the RFP

Responsibilities of Clinical/Program Staff

Question 76
Who is going to be responsible for applying for home care services (i.e. VNS, Americare) for those individuals that meet the criteria for Supported Housing but need the medical support of a nurse?

Health care services must be obtained using required referral and approval procedures.  This will be discussed during the training which will be provided to the agencies awarded contracts. 

Question 77
The proposal states that "the residents may live in the community with a minimum of staff intervention". In addition, there are two identified staff per 50 units. Understandably people will be met with according to need; however what is the minimum of staff intervention?

“Minimum staff intervention” should reflect the level of intervention that matches each client’s needs as they move into and continue to remain in supported housing.  During the assessment process, for each qualifying resident who wants to move, the supports and services required to effectively move and live in their new home will vary from person to person.  Some may need few supports and others may need extensive supports.

Miscellaneous

Question 78
Contractors must "assist individuals who have been identified as meeting eligibility criteria and who express a desire to move somewhere other than SH with fulfilling this goal."  If 189 individuals are identified for year 1, and one of those individuals opts for a move to a treatment apartment, does this placement "count" as 1 of the 189?  Or does the agency's SH obligation change to 188?  Or does another individual take their place?

The Remedial Order and Judgment clearly states that only Supported Housing is being developed and these units cannot be filled by anyone other than the identified group of constituents in the order, namely residents living in one of the 28 adult homes listed in Appendix B (PDF).  However, providers are expected and encouraged to assist residents who meet the eligibility criteria in the order and who choose to live in alternate types of housing.  Clear documentation and tracking of these alternate placements will be required.  How moves from adult homes to various other settings (based upon the residents’ choice) will be viewed or “counted” by the court is not yet clear.  This will be discussed at the OMH/DOH sponsored training provided to all the agencies awarded contracts. 

Question 79
Should the current agency staffing plan show only the number of formal peer titles, (e.g., Peer Counselor, Peer Bridger)or also show peers hired in other titles (say Case Manager)if that information is known?

Section 5.5.4 labeled “Housing Implementation” on page 20, number 4 (PDF), states “Describe your agency’s current staffing plan (including peers) and organizational and supervisory structures.”  The intent of this language was to have information included in the current staffing plan about all formal job titles, including formal peer titles, however there is not an expectation that bidders will identify peers who are not working in formal peer titles. 

Question 80
Can a group be formed with adult home members as an additional means of assessment?

Yes.  Participation would be based on individual choice.

Question 81
It states to answer the narrative questions in the order given.  Is there a format in which the narrative should be written?  Ex. Length, the type, the spacing, etc.

The required materials and narrative length are specified in Section 2.8 of the RFP (PDF).  There are no additional requirements related to spacing, font size or other minor formatting choices.