When we began in 1999, VOCAL-NY (then the NYC AIDS Housing Network) emerged as one of the leading groups to win quality, stable housing for people living with HIV/AIDS to improve health outcomes, and literal life expectancies of people whose homelessness could have been a death sentence. During these early years we joined coalitions to support the larger fight for affordable housing for all, and to end homelessness. We played a leading role in campaigns to strengthen rent laws, and build more affordable housing.
While our primary focus is to win quality housing for low-income people impacting by the war on drugs, mass incarceration and HIV/AIDS, we are dedicated to the belief that safe, affordable and stable housing is a human right for all.
Our accomplishments include:
- Secured a commitment from Mayor de Blasio to develop 15,000 units of supportive housing over the next 15 years. Along with coalition allies, we won this unprecedented, multi-billion commitment to provide housing, along with onsite services for people with physical, mental or behavioral health needs.
- Founded the Homes For Everyone New Yorker coalition dedicated to building, and winning, a broad vision of ending homelessness in New York City and New York City through a series of policy changes.
- Implementation of the “30% rent cap” to ensure people living with HIV/AIDS pay no more than 30% of their income towards their rent.
- Expansion of HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) benefits to all low-income, HIV+ New Yorkers
Main image: VOCAL-NY members at a rally in support of the Robin Hood Tax.