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Office of Mental Health

Supported Housing for Adult Home Residents with Serious Mental Illness
Questions and Answers

Back to the Supported Housing for Adult Home Residents with Serious Mental Illness RFP Page

  1. 1.3 Eligible Agencies
    Section 1.3.c regarding eligibility states, "must be a provider of housing or mental health services in all boroughs included in their bid." Does the content of that section mean that an agency must be a provider of OMH contracted housing or services to be eligible? My agency is considering making an application to develop and operate housing in Brooklyn under this Request for Proposal (RFP). We provide New York City funded supportive services in a NY NY III supportive housing site in Brooklyn, the Schermerhorn. This is not an OMH contracted site. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene contracts with my agency to provide services at this site. Does that satisfy the eligibility requirement described in Section 1.3.c?

    A: An organization is eligible to apply if the agency has a contract to provide housing services in New York City with the State Office of Mental Health (OMH) or with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), which has, in turn, received funding for such services from OMH through the State Aid Letter allocation process. In addition, the organization must operate mental health housing or provide mental health services in the borough(s) for the groups included in their bid. Lastly, the organization must already be part of or be able to become part of at least one Health Home covering the borough(s) included in their bid. If an organization is not sure if they are OMH-funded, they may directly contact the issuing officer, Susan Penn, who will verify.

  2. Housing
    Can these supported units be used in OMH mixed development housing supportive Single Room Occupancy (SRO) community units? What about other, non-OMH supportive housing buildings? Can the units be used to leverage capital funding for a new housing project? This would mean that they would be rented as scattered site initially and then migrate to a centralized building in two or three years, when the building is completed.

    A: Supported Housing means scattered site apartments for which OMH funding provides rental assistance and a minimal level of housing related support services for individuals with serious mental illness. Supported Housing is integrated housing that consists of scattered site apartments located in multiple buildings throughout the community. The goal is to provide individuals with a setting in which they live in their own apartments and are able to interact with non-disabled persons to the fullest extent possible. There is no capital funding associated with this initiative. "Renting" community units in an OMH mixed income building for adult home referrals must first be discussed with and approved by the New York City (NYC) Field Office. Using the funding for these Supported Housing units to leverage capital funding for a new housing project must also be discussed with and approved by the NYC Field Office.

  3. From RFP: A contractor may use other government funding or agency funds to purchase and/or renovate a building provided this will not delay the movement of individuals out of Adult Housings (AH)s. In this instance, selected housing contractors must be able to document that funding is adequate to pay the debt service, ongoing building maintenance and repairs. Selected housing contractors must consult with the OMH New York City Field Office Housing Unit, before purchasing a site or entering into a long-term lease." If a provider is able to purchase and/or renovate a building, is there a limit to the number of Supported Housing units that may be located at the site? For example, if a building has 40 apartments, how many units can be used for housing these Adult Home tenants?

    A: See number 2.

  4. Backfill
    There is no mention of "back filling" as an option for these units which is different from other recent NY/NY III Supported Housing RFPs. What is the rationale for this omission? Is back filling an option? Is it assumed that the developed supported housing units will all be filled by adult home residents who are assessed as being ready for supported housing?

    A: A plan that involves a "backfill" is a possible option under certain circumstances with the approval of the NYC Field Office. The overall goal is to ensure the most independent level of housing and services appropriate for every eligible adult home resident who wishes to move out of a transitional adult home. The selected housing contractor will work with adult home residents, Health Homes or Managed Long Term Care Plans to find the most appropriate housing setting. In many instances this type of housing will be Supported Housing. However, when Supported Housing is not appropriate or desired, selected housing contractors will be responsible for collaborating with the Health Home or Managed Long Term Care Plan to assist the eligible adult home resident in accessing another housing setting. In these instances, the contactor will inform the NYC Field Office and "backfill" will be reviewed as an option.

  5. In reviewing Appendix D, it looks like the client can choose from the range of housing types available from OMH and other government agencies, and is not limited to OMH supported housing. Is that correct? If the consumer chooses apartment treatment, for example, can the Supported Housing (SH) agency arrange such a placement in one of their (or another provider's) program through backfill (using the new SH slot for a client ready to move from apt treatment to more independent living).

    A: See number 4.

  6. If the SH provider has assessed that the client needs a level of housing with more services then supported housing, does OMH have to approve that decision for each individual, or does provider have the flexibility to work with the client to identify an appropriate and acceptable residential option?

    A: See number 4.

  7. Health Homes/MLTC/In-reach
    Is part of the in-reach required meant to be with the Health Homes and Managed Long Term Care plan (MLTCP)s or it is primarily intended as in-reach to the adult homes and adult home residents?

    A: The term "in-reach" is primarily intended to describe the process of going in to the designated transitional adult homes to engage eligible adult home residents in learning about more independent community housing options as well as any community services they may need in order to live in more independent settings, and to provide encouragement to those who may be ambivalent or apprehensive about moving. The in-reach process should include motivational interviewing techniques where appropriate to help residents identify their preferences and any barriers to moving to the community housing of their choice. Most adult home residents will already be enrolled in a Health Home or Managed Long Term Care plan, when the in-reach process begins. Selected housing contractors will be provided with a list showing which Health Home or Managed Long Term Care plan residents are enrolled in as well as a contact person at the plan(s) who can connect them with the residents care manager(s). Selected housing contractors will speak with the residents' care managers prior to conducting in-reach to become familiar with each resident's existing care plan. As part of the on-going in-reach process, selected housing contractors will share what they learn about the residents' community housing preferences with the resident's assigned Health Home or Managed Long Term Care Plan so that it can be incorporated in to the care plan if appropriate following assessment by The Health Home or Managed Long Term Care Plan.

  8. Are there specific qualifications for the professional and peer bridger staff (i.e. licensing, degree, certificate, etc)?

    A: We expect selected housing contractors to use their own hiring practices and standards when recruiting the professional clinical staff person and peer bridger to perform the duties described in the RFP. Proposals should describe how the bidder will integrate these additional resources and new in-reach function into existing procedures.

  9. Can OMH provide demographic information about the target population in the designated adult homes? Can it provide any clinical information?

    A: Some demographic statistics may be available. Available data will be reviewed at the OMH/DOH (Department of Health) sponsored training that will be completed by agencies awarded contracts. 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.

  10. How have or will the Health Homes and MLTCPs be informed of their participation in this project and their responsibility for assessing needs, developing care plans and playing a key role in the transition from an adult home?

    A: As indicated in the RFP, selected housing contractors will be provided with a list of which Health Homes or MLTCP's (as well as contact info) that each eligible adult home resident is enrolled in. The Department of Health and the Office of Mental Health are working collaboratively to establish these lists and are developing training for the Health Homes specific to the needs of this adult home population and the attention needed to accurately assess residents' ability to perform various tasks in a new environment, outside an adult home. A balance is needed to ensure a reasonable degree of safety without infringing on individual rights and freedom to choose on the part of the residents.

  11. What type of support and services can the contract provider expect from Health Home staff?

    A: Enrollment in a Health Home includes the assignment of a care manager who is responsible for the development and implementation of an integrated care plan based upon the resident's preferences and a clinical assessment. Housing providers can expect that housing preferences and necessary support services will be part of this plan, and can expect to work collaboratively with the Health Home to locate housing consistent with each resident's care plan.

  12. RFP Text: "The Health Home or MLTCP will conduct or arrange a comprehensive assessment, including functional status, develop or amend a care plan to support the individual to succeed in their housing preference, provided the assessment and care plan indicates the individual will be able to live safely in that setting. " Question: What resources, if any, will be available to health homes to accomplish the necessary assessments?

    A: As indicated, Health Homes will receive training specific to the adult home population and initiatives. Given the challenge of assessing ability to perform certain tasks in a new untested environment, options to allow for more intensive care coordination and management during and shortly after transition are under discussion.

  13. 4.0 Evaluation Factors
    Will it be considered strength if an applicant has established case management or clinical service relationships with adult homes?

    A: Section 4 "Evaluation Factors for Awards" beginning on page 10 of the RFP outlines the content areas for which bidders can receive points, including the maximum number of points that can be earned in any one area. Points cannot be earned due simply to having an existing working relationship with an adult home. It is possible that experience working with adult home residents either on-site or in the community may assist a bidder in explaining how they will implement their proposal, predict and avoid barriers to smooth implementation, etc.

  14. Will the Supportive Case Management (SCM) and other providers with on-site programs in the targeted adult homes have an advantage in the RFP?

    A: See number 13.

  15. Section 5.4 Operating Funding
    Is the $150,000 for a professional and peer bridger staff an annual payment? Also, is there additional money for these positions if awarded beds for phase II & III?

    A: The $150,000 for professional clinical staff and peer bridger staff is an annual allocation and will eventually be phased out once the placements are completed. No additional funds above the $150,000 will be allocated for these positions for Phase II and III.

  16. Will the funding for the professional clinical staff and peer person continue after the clients have been placed in supportive housing?

    A: The peer bridger and professional services are to assist in the transition and will eventually be phased out once the placements are completed.

  17. Should the Year 2 budget reflect the Phase I units awarded or should it reflect the Phase I units and the Phase II units both?

    A: The Year 2 budget should reflect both Phase I and Phase II units.

  18. What is OMH's expected timeline for completing the designated housing placements for Phase 1?

    A: As described in Section 4.3.2, additional allocations for Phase II and Phase III will be available based on the pace that units are developed during Phase I. Bidders should describe their plans for making units available and matching them with eligible and interested residents as efficiently as possible. If Phase I units are not developed in a particular group after a reasonable period of time when benchmarked with other groups, units may be reallocated as indicated in section 4.3.2.