Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Applauds Senate Social Services Committee Passing Rest of State AIDS Housing Legislation

February 13, 2024

CONTACT: Mariah McGough, 


ALBANY, N.Y. — Today, the Senate Social Services Committee passed S.183, legislation to provide statewide rental assistance for New Yorkers living with HIV. In response, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Pedro Benitez, a Rochester-based leader with the Positive Leaders Union and Board Member at VOCAL-NY:

“We thank Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and the Senate for passing Rest of State AIDS Housing (ROSAH) out of the Social Services Committee; we hope the Assembly follows suit and ensures that ROSAH gets the attention it deserves. This is life-saving legislation that will help thousands of HIV-positive New Yorkers living outside of NYC.

We strongly encourage the Governor and the New York State Legislature to fix this inequity in this year’s budget. If we do so, we can confidently claim that New York State would have ended homelessness for people with HIV — regardless of their zip code”


In 2018, Governor Cuomo claimed to equalize access to HIV rental assistance with budget language that gave all local districts the option to provide HIV Shelter Allowances to support people living with HIV, but without any additional State funding to make it fiscally possible. In the six years the Aid to Localities “option” language has been in place, not a single local district outside NYC has opted in, and not a single person with HIV outside NYC has been able to use the HIV Shelter Allowance. Governor Hochul has had three budget cycles to reverse this inequity and take decisive action that would effectively end homelessness for people with HIV in NYS. 

In the five boroughs, People Living with HIV/AIDS (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. Rest of State AIDS Housing, which VOCAL-NY is advocating for on the state level, would extend this infrastructure of care to New Yorkers living with HIV outside of NYC. 


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