The New York State Budget passed last week, resulting in incredible funding increases for Fiscal Year 2023! The packet highlights include:

  • A 5.4% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for the human services workforce – last year the budget only granted a 1% COLA increase.
  • $65 million for Office of Mental Health (OMH) residential programs, resulting in budget increases for Urban Pathways programs with OMH contracts!
  • $1.5 billion in capital funding for a new 5-year plan to develop supportive housing through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI). The new plan includes the construction of 7,000 supportive housing units and rehabilitation of 3,000 supportive housing units throughout the State. This ensures another 5 years of ESSHI with the creation of at least 1,400 new units per year.
  • $60 million to preserve current supportive housing units. This helps to ensure units remain updated and receive necessary repairs.

To advocate for these increases, Urban Pathways hosted call-in days on March 30th and March 31st for staff to contact State legislators, emphasizing the importance of the human services COLA. Thank you to everyone who reached out to elected officials, added their name to sign-on letters, and made phone calls. Every action makes a difference and it’s not too late to get involved!

What’s Next?

  • We need to keep advocating for the COLA in the City Budget! The City Budget typically passes at the end of June, with a deadline for July 1st. Our City Council Members and the Mayor need to hear from us. We will be asking the City to match the State’s 5.4% COLA.
  • Call your City Council Member today and let them know that you support a 5.4% COLA for human services workers to match the State’s investment! Click here to find your City Council Member

Thank you again to everyone who is working to support our city’s residents. Our voices are being heard, and we are making great progress. Let’s keep it going!