Frequently Asked Questions

1 How long will it take for me to get housing? Once your application is complete, you will be placed on a waiting list. How long you wait on the list depends on your current housing situation and what type of SPA housing you are requesting. It is important to keep SPA informed as to your contact information.
2 What is the eligibility criteria (county residence and SMI)? Eligibility for SPA housing is based on meeting the criteria for Serious Mental Illness (SMI) as defined by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). The OMH’s definition of SMI is “Adults with serious mental illness are persons aged 18 or older who currently have, or at any time during the past year have had a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM). In order to be considered SMI, the diagnosable disorder must result in functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.” County residence is demonstrated by current address. For non-residence, a meaningful connection to the county of interest will be considered.
3 What are the different levels of care? There are four general levels of housing that can be applied for depending on needs: 1. Supervised CR (Licensed): These programs are supervised 24 hours per day. These residences typically house 8 – 15 individuals in one large house. Food is provided. Residents are offered all restorative services, generally with an emphasis on Daily Living Skills such as cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, food shopping and money management. Medication is supervised as needed. 2. CR- Single Room Occupancy (Licensed): This level offers individuals their own bedrooms usually in a large building with up to 50 residents. Staff supervision is present 24 hours per day. It is recommended that residents prepare their own meals. A meal plan may be available for purchase depending on location. Restorative services are available. 3. Apartment Treatment (Licensed): These programs typically receive staff visits several times each week, depending on level of need. There are generally 2 – 3 residents per house or apartment. Residents are expected to have good daily living skills, and be able to hold their own medication. Food is not provided. Instead, residents receive an allowance, which is used to purchase food and cleaning supplies. Applicants should have some ability to manage their own medications. 4. Supported Housing: Supported Housing programs vary. Programs may offer shared apartments, houses for three individual adults, or families. Individuals residing in Supported Housing pay 30% of their monthly income toward their rent. The rest of their rent is subsidized. Residents of these programs live fairly independently, and may receive visits 1- 4 times monthly. Supported Housing is considered long term housing.
4 Where is the housing located? Scattered sites through Nassau and Suffolk County
5 How much will it cost? Licensed housing is paid through SSI/SSD and Medicaid. Supported housing costs 30% of the applicant’s income.
6 How long will my application be open? Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed for completion and eligibility. If the mandatory evaluations and/or documents needed to process the application have not been submitted within 60 days from submission, the application will be closed. At that time, a new application would need to be submitted.
7 Is family housing available? Yes, but you must meet the eligibility criteria and it is very limited. A long waitlist exists for this type of housing and availability is limited.