New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) Acting Commissioner Molly Park, New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Eric Enderlin, and SeaChange Capital Partners managing partner John MacIntosh on March 8, 2023, announced the launch of a $15 million shelter development and acquisition fund for nonprofit homeless service providers to build, own, and operate shelters. The revolving fund will alleviate the upfront financial burden that often prohibits experienced, mission-driven nonprofit homeless service providers from developing and owning their own shelter sites.
The shelter fund will combine $5 million in city resources with $10 million in philanthropic, program-related investment capital arranged by SeaChange Capital Partners. The total $15 million will fund up to 10 new shelters in the initial four-year phase and will continue to fund additional projects as loans are paid back. The shelter fund advances the Adams administration’s goal outlined in “Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness” to replace aging and substandard shelters with high-quality shelters that provide better conditions for residents.
“One of our top goals outlined in our housing and homelessness blueprint was to replace aging and substandard shelters with better high-quality facilities. This $15 million in funding will help the Department of Social Services and their nonprofit partners provide a more stabilized shelter environment for adults looking to better their lives and for children in this system as they continue their education,” said Mayor Adams. “I also want to thank the philanthropic community for pitching in with much-needed seed capital so that this revolving acquisition fund can continue to grow through this administration and beyond.”
“This type of innovative program shows the power of public-private partnerships,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “It also demonstrates the city’s commitment to investing in shelter infrastructure now and for years to come. Thank you to our external partners and to our team across government for coming together to make this possible.”
“As the city continues to face an unprecedented homelessness crisis, it is important to ensure all New Yorkers have a safe place to rest their head at night, which is why we are proud to announce the new shelter acquisition fund,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “Working closely with our nonprofit and community leaders, who are at the forefront of homeless outreach, will ensure that everyone has the support and services they need to get back on their feet. We are grateful to SeaChange Capital Partners for working with us to improve the conditions of our shelter system.”
“This DHS revolving shelter fund is an essential bridge funding tool for our not-for-profit provider partners that are increasingly developing their own shelter sites but have fewer resources to invest in the significant acquisition and predevelopment costs that must be met well before the city contract is in effect,” said DSS Acting Commissioner Park. “We are incredibly thankful and grateful to Mayor Adams, HDC, and SeaChange for their instrumental participation in structuring and developing this fund, and to the private philanthropic sector for stepping to the plate with much-needed capital to provide New Yorkers experiencing homelessness with safe, state-of-the-art shelters in their journey from shelter to suitable housing.”
“The shelter fund will play an important role in bolstering the ability of nonprofits to develop critically needed shelter sites,” said HDC President Enderlin. “HDC is proud to join our partners across the city, including DSS and SeaChange Capital Partners, as we work on innovative solutions to help address the dire crisis facing countless New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.”
“The fund allows strong nonprofits to develop and operate high-quality shelters,” said John MacIntosh, managing partner, SeaChange Capital Partners. “I am grateful to the philanthropic funders and the city leaders that have worked diligently to make it a reality and to Proskauer for serving as pro bono legal counsel.”
The shelter fund will facilitate the creation of nonprofit-owned shelters by bridging upfront acquisition and predevelopment costs that must be paid in advance of contract registration. Projects that that have been selected through the New York City Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) open-ended shelter Requests for Proposals can apply to the fund. Selected nonprofits can receive predevelopment loans for up to 130 percent of the costs associated with the project to cover site acquisition and other predevelopment costs. The funds will later be paid back to the shelter fund, allowing for the $15 million investment to support multiple projects over time.
“Homelessness has long been a chronic problem for New York,” said Jonathan Soros, chairman, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation. “This initiative to support purpose-built, nonprofit-owned shelters is essential to ensure that any person in need can have a safe and sanitary place to find shelter. I am proud to be able to support the city and the nonprofit shelter operators in this endeavor.”
“The city’s nonprofit shelter providers have long been tasked with serving the most vulnerable, yet they have not had the necessary support to develop safe, sustainable spaces under their control,” said Shawn Morehead, vice president of grants, New York Community Trust. “We are pleased to contribute to this effort to help nonprofits build and own shelters that better meet the needs of unhoused New Yorkers.”
“I have worked closely with New York’s nonprofits since 2005 and witnessed the remarkable effort and ingenuity they bring to the task of caring for our most vulnerable New Yorkers. I am proud to be able to support this project,” said Mark Reed, founder, Contact Fund and Reed Community Capital. “I know that many lives will be improved by the creation of safe, modern, and well managed shelters.”
“This new, $10 million private investment in New York City’s emergency shelters, when coupled with $5 million in city funding, will alleviate financial barriers that nonprofit shelter providers face in developing and maintaining facilities,” said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “I thank SeaChange, the Housing Development Corporation, and the Department of Social Services for advancing this effort.”
“The launch of the $15 million shelter development and acquisition fund is a step forward in addressing homelessness in New York City,” said New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. “By alleviating the upfront financial burden for nonprofit homeless service providers to develop and own their own shelter sites, the fund will help to create high-quality shelters that provide better conditions for residents. I commend DSS, HDC President Enderlin, and SeaChange Capital Partners managing partner John MacIntosh for their efforts in structuring and developing this fund and for the private philanthropic sector for stepping up to provide much-needed capital. This initiative is a clear example of how public-private partnerships can come together to solve complex societal issues and help those in need.”
“This public-private shelter fund is an innovative solution that will further alleviate our communities’ housing issues by providing much-needed funding that bolsters the ability of nonprofit homeless service providers to own, operate, and build shelters,” said New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “Having housing is an essential human right, not a privilege, and New York City is committed to housing for all. I applaud and thank Mayor Eric Adams, HDC, and SeaChange for creating a sustainable program to help house our neighbors.”
“Mayor Adams reaches out personally to the homeless in our city, provides wraparound services for homeless youth, and has dedicated himself to addressing the homelessness crisis,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Today, his administration takes the next step by establishing a $15 million fund to build and renovate shelters. This investment will expand our capacity to reach even more New Yorkers and give them the help they need to become self-sufficient. Every new shelter bed brings more dignity, care, and hope to our fellow New Yorkers and moves us closer to ending homelessness in our city.”