People With AIDS Deserve Affordable Housing! Rally & Advocacy Day | Albany on May 20th

People With AIDS Deserve Affordable Housing!
Rally & Advocacy Day | Albany on May 20th
Busses from Brooklyn and the Bronx
Contact Jaron at (718) 864-3932 or jaron@nycahn. org

If you’re on HASA (or work with people who are) and  receive rental assistance plus supplemental income (SSI, SSD or Veteran’s benefits), we need YOU to help us win a campaign for affordable housing. A bill in Albany (sponsored by Senator Duane and Assembly Member Glick) would make sure no HASA client pays more than 30% of their income towards their rent, which would leave more money in your pocket for all the other essential needs in your life. Many HASA clients now pay half or more of their fixed income towards their rent each month.

There’s HOPE ­­ if this bill becomes law, SSI clients would see an average of $122 each month and SSD clients would see an average of at least $195 more each month.

A flier is attached.


What the bill would do:

  • Establish an affordable housing protection for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in enhanced shelter assistance programs by capping their rent contribution at 30% of income. This is a nationally recognized standard for affordable housing that every other enhanced shelter assistance program in New York State uses.

  • Reduce homelessness and lead to longer-term housing stability, which also promotes better health and HIV prevention among low-income PLWHAs in New York. A comparison of different housing programs shows that an affordable housing protection will improve housing stability by at least 40%, which produces much better health and HIV prevention outcomes among PLWHAs.

  • Make New York’s investment in housing assistance for PLWHAs more efficient and effective. Enacting this policy is not expected to result in new spending because the benefits of longer-term housing stability would lower costs in other areas.  According to Shubert-Botein Policy Associates, the bill could result in cost savings for New York because there would be fewer rent arrears and costly evictions, while more PLWHAs would be in independent living instead of expensive commercial SROs (welfare hotels).

  • Benefit at least 11,000 New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS who receive supplemental income (e.g. – SSI, SSD, VA) in addition to their benefits through NYC’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA).

Problems it will fix:

  • High rates of persistent homelessness and unstable housing among low-income PLWHAs even though there is an enhanced shelter assistance program.  The housing stability is primarily caused by an enormous rent share burden.

  • Double standard in New York’s low-income housing and shelter assistance programs. Low-income people with AIDS are the only population eligible for an enhanced shelter assistance program (e.g. supportive housing, Section 8, public housing) that do not have their rent share capped at 30% of income. Many HASA clients pay 70% or more of their total income towards their rent.

  • Extreme rent share burden that forces PLWHAs to make difficult trade-offs between paying their rent and spending on other essential needs.  Currently, low-income people with AIDS in private market apartments are only allowed to keep $330/month or $11/day of their fixed income.

Sean Barry
NYC AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN)

office: (718) 802-9540, ext 10
cell: (646) 373-3344
NEW fax: (718) 228-2477
email: barry@nycahn. org
address: 80-A Fourth Ave / Brooklyn, NY 11217


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