March 2, 2023
CONTACT: Mariah McGough, firstname.lastname@example.org
VOCAL-NY APPLAUDS NYC COUNCIL RESOLUTION URGING NEW YORK STATE TO FUND AND PASS REST OF STATE HOUSING
Resolution Calls for a HASA-like Program to be Funded and Expanded Statewide so All New Yorkers Living With HIV/AIDS Have Access to Rental, Transportation, and Nutrition Assistance
NEW YORK — Today, in response to a new NYC Council Resolution 0514-2023, introduced by Councilmember Chi Ossé, VOCAL-NY released the following statements:
“Councilmember: We thank you for finally hearing our voices and our stories,” said Asia Bentancourt, a VOCAL-NY leader based in New York City. “We thank you for realizing that housing is a fundamental need, especially for our most marginalized people. We continue to stand in solidarity around this issue because all lives are valuable, and thanks to you, those that need help the most around housing will get that help.”
“Thank you Councilman Osse for your resolution urging New York State to fund and pass Rest of the State housing,” said Kevin Aiken, a VOCAL-NY leader based in Rochester. “This bill is vital for HIV+ individuals outside the five boroughs to find and maintain stable housing. If we are ever going to meet the metrics in the EtE upstate, the support in this bill is paramount to making it happen.”
Councilmember Ossé’s resolution is a part of a larger package that promotes increased STD/HIV testing and access to care. Testing and access to care are essential to preventing the transmission of HIV, as is stable housing.
Rest of State Housing, which VOCAL-NY is advocating for on the state level, would create a permanent, statewide rental assistance program for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) outside of NYC. In the five boroughs, PLWHA via the NYC HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) program receive support with a 30% rent cap, intensive case management and assistance in applying for public benefits and services, along with providing care coordination, nutrition and transportation assistance.