March 9, 2023
CONTACT: Mariah McGough, email@example.com
VOCAL-NY APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF REST OF STATE AIDS HOUSING BILL THROUGH SENATE SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
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.