Preventing Homelessness for New Yorkers With HIV/AIDS:

30% Rent Cap Affordable Housing Campaign

VOCAL-NY has been working to prevent homelessness for 10,000 low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS and their families through a state affordable housing bill since 2006. New York’s rental assistance program for low-income and homeless people living with HIV/AIDS is the only one of its kind in the state that denies tenants an affordable housing protection capping their rent at 30% of income.

The HIV/AIDS Services Administration’s (HASA) current policy forces people into homelessness because they cannot afford their rent. HASA clients are forced to pay upwards of 70% or more of their disability income towards rent, forcing clients to choose between paying their rent and other essential needs like visiting the doctor, buying groceries, and keeping the phone turned on. Many are unable to save enough each month for the rent, falling into arrears and ending up back in the emergency shelter system. Homelessness and unstable housing are deadly for people living with HIV/AIDS.

VOCAL-NY members support a bill that would ensure low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS who already qualify a rental subsidy pay no more than 30% of their disability income towards their rent. That is already the existing standard in every other comparable housing assistance program in New York.

Save Supportive Housing: New York City and State face a historic fiscal crisis that is creating pressure to cut funding for our fragile safety net serving the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Both the Bloomberg and Paterson administration have proposed cutting funding for supportive housing and other assistance for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. At the same time, a growing body of research shows that stable housing is critical for effective HIV/AIDS healthcare and prevention, while reducing health disparities. NYCAHN will continue working to preserve public investment in supportive housing programs serving formerly homeless people living with HIV/AIDS.