May 25, 2022
CONTACT: Adolfo Abreu, firstname.lastname@example.org
VOCAL-NY APPLAUDS SEN. HOYLMAN FOR AMENDING LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE SUPPORT AND HOUSING FOR NEW YORKERS LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS AND DEMANDS ASSEMBLY TO DO THE SAME
ALBANY, N.Y. — In response to amendments made to S1073A by Senator Brad Hoylman to provide all low-income New Yorkers with HIV equal access to the housing assistance currently available only to residents of New York City. The amendments include a language to provide each local social services district assist persons with medically diagnosed HIV infections by helping them to secure access to housing, transportation, and public assistance, disability assistance and expand the 30% rent cap that exists in NYC for PWH to the entire state. We now urge Assembly leadership to introduce a bill that mirrors the same amendments, so as to ensure that Rest of State Housing is granted to every single person living with HIV/AIDS across the state of New York.
VOCAL-NY’s Positive Leaders Union Jason Walker:
“For years we have waited as Albany and the Cuomo administration has consistently stalled in providing meaningful assistance for all PLWHA in NYS, whose health depends on safe and permanent housing. We know that stable housing is the key to the stabilization of our health. NYS is currently behind the mark in eradicating this epidemic, originally pledged by Cuomo and that should have ended in 2020.
We are now looking to the state’s leadership in both houses and Kathy Hochul’s administration, to lead and show the world that NY is truly a world leader in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We need the NYS leadership to lead as aids activists and partner electeds have done historically through advocating for treatment, medications and the humane care that NY has been at the forefront of and prove that we still lead and show the world how to End this Epidemic.”
For the past four years, former Governor Cuomo claimed to have added NYS budget language providing equal access across the State to both the NYS HIV Emergency Shelter Allowance rental assistance program and a 30% rent cap enacted in 2014 to enable extremely low-income PWH to sustain their housing. In all these years, not a single person with HIV has been housed as a result of this budget language. Unfortunately, Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget carries over this failed Cuomo language.
People with HIV experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity lack the safety and stability necessary to benefit from HIV treatments that stop transmission. In NYC, The End The Epidemic Blueprint’s housing recommendations have been fully implemented since 2016, where low-income people with HIV who lack stable housing have access under NYS laws and regulations to market rate rental assistance and a 30% rent cap affordable housing protection. However, people with HIV living upstate and on Long Island are denied the same housing assistance, leaving many individuals and families homeless or unstably housed.