Affordable Housing & Mental Health Committees: "Draft Day"

On Saturday, January 30, we invited veterans and civilians to join us at Civic Hall for a "Draft Day" to get into the details of the policy solutions we want to see addressing Affordable Housing & Homelessness Prevention (in the morning) and Mental Health & Suicide Prevention (in the afternoon).

We had a great turnout, and identified a number of areas in which we needed better data and further information, which will be collected using a series of online surveys.

Below is an outline of issues we covered in our discussion:


Potential Actions by the new Department of Veterans Services: 

Have DVS build a better definition of homeless veteran that also includes prevention of becoming homeless

Build a plan to have site visits for veterans homeless shelters and transitional homes

connect tax incentives to veterans preference

Push 421a veteran friendly messaging to Govt

Oversight of comprehensive housing & homelessness prevention program for NYC veterans

Collect data on SCRIE and DRIE

Where are the rent controlled apts?

Housing Data collection

Rotating housing specialists

Website resources

Longer-term NYC/community actions:

Prescreen veterans and put their handy skillsets to work in their building

Address oversaturation and placement of veteran shelters

Positive messaging and presentation and community activity

Not counting VA compensation as disability income

Get developers involved to build affordable housing for city owned properties

Market rate 80/20 split

Potential Actions for the NYC Veterans Alliance:

Data- student vet survey to find out what student veterans are getting BAH and what their end plan it (where they are going to be after their BAH runs out), and do the same for aging vets

Build the criteria for housing specialist in DVS should be responsible for knowing

Have an annual training and certification for VSO’s who wish to have the MOVA seal of approval

Build CSS & CUCS veterans relationships and data publications.



Potential Actions by the new Department of Veterans Services: 

Website modeled after Los Angeles veterans services

Change city language to be more inclusive of overall health

P.S.A. Campaign de-stigmatizing PTSD (what it is vs What it isn’t, consider the entire spectrum)

Broadening population of PTSD community (rape victims, muggings, etc)

Positive post traumatic growth video series (highlight veterans who are doing well)

Publish ideal model for veterans

Track veterans who apply for jobs and work for the city and combine with IDNYC

DVS sponsored resource fair on mental health & suicide prevention

Sucide prevention training required for organizations receiving city funds


Longer-term NYC/community actions:

Primary care Physcians change scope of questioning and wording to use wording

Drop the D of PTSD when discussion of medical diagnosis is not germane

Data Collection

VA Choice program- Lobby federal legislators, write bill

Potential Actions for the NYC Veterans Alliance:

PTSD- refer it to as PTS in public messaging

311 timeline



Our next steps for developing our 2016 Policy Agenda will be to continue discussion of these issues using our member Slack Team and crafting a series of surveys to gather information based on questions we've raised and inputs we've received thus far in our process since September. Stay tuned!