FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 25, 2012
CONTACT: Bianca Paraguya, 626.674.4647, firstname.lastname@example.org | Wayne Starks, 347.423.6201
City Budget Deal Restores HIV/AIDS Housing & Nutrition Funding
Speaker Christine Quinn and General Welfare Committee Chair Annabel Palma Lead Fight Against Mayor’s Attack on People With HIV/AIDS
Quinn recently told Gay City News she would allow the Bloomberg administration to erode rights for people living with HIV/AIDS “over my dead body”
City Council will use discretionary funds to restore nearly $5.1 million for life-saving supportive housing programs serving 4,500 formerly homeless people living with HIV/AIDS as part of the budget agreement announced tonight. If enacted, the total cut would have been $7.2 million due to the loss of state matching funds. City Council also restored nearly $1 million for HIV/AIDS food and nutrition programs.
“Speaker Quinn and Council Member Palma’s leadership will help keep thousands of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS in their homes and out of emergency rooms, saving lives and reducing unnecessary healthcare expenses,” said Wanda Hernandez, VOCAL-NY’s Board Chair and a client member of the HASA Advisory Board from the Bronx.
Speaker Quinn recently told Gay City News that passage of Local Law 49 of 1997, which codified into law what is now known as the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA), was “one of the things I am most proud of in my entire career,” adding that the Bloomberg administration would erode the law “over my dead body.”
“Homelessness is deadly for people living with HIV/AIDS, but Bloomberg’s public health priorities don’t seem to extend beyond his big soda ban lately,” said Wayne Starks, a VOCAL-NY Board member and formerly homeless HASA client living in supportive housing. “This administration has repeatedly slashed funding for housing programs that keep people with HIV/AIDS healthy, while introducing policies like drug testing that are simply an excuse to deny medically appropriate shelter.”
It is unclear at this time whether any funding for HIV prevention contracts have been restored. It does not appear that the following cuts proposed by Mayor Bloomberg’s were restored: $1.355 million for another one-year delay of promised NY/NY III HASA supportive housing units for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS who have co-occurring mental health and substance use issues; $4.8 million broker’s fee payments to help homeless people with HIV/AIDS transition into permanent housing; and, $1.257 million for HASA rental assistance being implemented through a harmful diversion policy.