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Housing struggles for elderly New Yorkers with mental health issues significant, report finds

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  • Staff Report 

Adequate long-term housing for elderly New Yorkers living with mental illnesses is increasingly becoming a pressing issue, according to Mohawk Opportunities.

It’s a Schenectady-based organization that provides housing support for people with severe mental illnesses.


Amid growing concerns, a proposed measure is heading to Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk, which calls for the creation of a task force aimed at assessing the housing needs of this vulnerable and aging population.

The pressing need for suitable housing is evident in the growing waiting lists for community residences, which often exceed their capacity.

Mohawk Opportunities, for instance, operates four residences that house 34 individuals, yet their waitlist exceeds 80. Many available housing options fail to cater to the specific needs of people with mental illnesses, and most nursing homes aren’t equipped to handle these residents, leading to frequent transitions from hospitals to temporary housing.

Addressing the issue, Governor Hochul plans to invest $1 billion in the coming years to cater to a range of mental health needs in New York. Advocates say the funding isn’t enough alone.