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What is Rehabilitation Support Services, Inc.?

Rehabilitation Support Services, Inc. (RSS) is a not-for-profit agency and one of New York’s premier providers of community-based mental health residential and recovery-oriented services.  RSS has been operating in Albany County since 1979, and currently provides licensed and supported housing to 1,400 individuals in 13 upstate New York counties. 

Where is RSS in the approval process?

Colonie Hills would be located on a 38-acre property that was previously approved, as part of a Planned Development District (PDD), for a strikingly similar housing development project. When that project was abandoned, RSS struck a purchase agreement with the property owner.

RSS has submitted plans for the Colonie Hills project to the Town of Colonie, which are currently being reviewed by the Planning Board.

What does “integrated housing” mean?

Integrated housing is the result of the United States Supreme Court landmark decision in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), affirming that the unjustified segregation of individuals with disabilities is a form of discrimination prohibited by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Individuals with disabilities have historically faced discrimination that limited their opportunity to live independently in the community and required them to live in institutions and other segregated settings. Following the Olmstead decision, there have been increased efforts across the country to assist individuals who are institutionalized or housed in other segregated settings to move to integrated, community-based settings. As a result, there is a great need for affordable, integrated housing opportunities where individuals with disabilities are able to live and interact with individuals without disabilities, while receiving the health care and long-term services and supports they need.

What would rent be like?

Currently, fair-market rentals for similar apartments range from about $1,000 to $1,350 per month. In keeping with the affordability goals for Colonie Hills, all units will have rents ranging from $630 to $1,059 per month.

What does a “campus-style design” entail?

Colonie Hills is designed as a campus setting with abundant green space, intended to foster a strong sense of community. One of the unique aspects of the project involves the construction of a community building, which features a community room, Internet stations, mailboxes, as well as offices for support staff.

What types of on-site services will be available to residents?

RSS will provide on-site person-centered rehabilitative services that will foster wellness and recovery in a safe and quality environment. Shelter, income management, adequate nutrition, transportation, socialization and healthcare are basic needs that will be provided for and/or arranged for.

Additionally, RSS will offer residents workshops and seminars on health and social service issues, such as education, nutrition and personal finance.

Will Colonie hills pay taxes?

Yes, Colonie Hills will be on the tax rolls and pay real estate taxes. Real Property Tax Law 581-A dictates that the assessed value must take into consideration the affordable aspect of the project.