Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Applauds Passage of Rest of State AIDS Housing Bill Through Senate Social Services Committee

March 9, 2023

CONTACT: Mariah McGough, 


Advocates Continue to Urge Assembly to Prioritize Funding for Statewide AIDS Housing With Legislation and Inclusion in One-House Budgets

NEW YORK — Today, in response to the New York State Senate Social Services Committee voting Rest of State Housing legislation (S183) out of committee, which would provide HASA-like supports and benefits to those living with HIV across the state, VOCAL-NY released the following statement:

“Thank you very much to legislators in the social services committee,” said Pedro Benitez, VOCAL-NY Leader and Board member. “You have no idea the impact it will have in the rest of the state. Housing is a human right, and this is personal for me. I know peers personally who lost their fight with life while not being able to be housed. The Assembly should follow the Senate’s lead. We need this bill in one-house budgets and to the governor as soon as possible.”


For years, former-Governor Cuomo promised but failed to add the necessary NYS budget language to provide equal access to rental assistance and the 30% rent cap in the rest of the state outside NYC. In all these years, not a single person with HIV has been housed as a result of this budget language. Unfortunately, the language in Governor Hochul’s current budget carries over this same failed Cuomo language.

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. 


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