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March 6, 2008

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Hundreds Gather to Share Data at National AIDS Housing Summit in Baltimore

Baltimore, MD March 6, 2008 -- On the second day of the National Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit, investigators from two major multi-year studies released preliminary data showing that providing housing for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS improves health outcomes and saves millions in medical costs. The National Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit is convened by the National AIDS Housing Coalition in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The four-year Chicago Housing for Health Partnership (CHHP) study, the subject of an article in today's Wall Street Journal followed 407 chronically ill homeless people, more than a third of whom had HIV. Half of the study participants were placed in housing with case management, while the other half relied on Chicago's existing network of services. The group that received case management and housing assistance spent significantly less time in hospitals, emergency rooms and nursing homes and experienced improved health.  More...

 

 

March 4, 2008

HRSA CALL TO ACTION - Stop the HRSA Housing Policy Amendment

BACKGROUND: This is a follow up to the February 27th Alert advising that HRSA issued with a final date of March 27, 2008 its Policy Notice on the Use of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Funds for Housing Referral Services and Short-Term or Emergency Housing Needs (HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB)) Policy Notice 99-02 Amendment 1 (73 Federal Register 10260, February 26, 2008).

NAHC has today written to Secretary Leavitt urging immediate withdrawal of Policy Notice 99-02, slated to take effect on March 27. Click on this link to see the letter. Policy Notice 99-02, in a change from the December 2006 proposed Policy Notice which was withdrawn last year: (1) omits the "lifetime" feature from the cumulative period of 24 months per household for use of Ryan White dollars for emergency and transitional housing; and (2) is no longer retroactive but starts the 24 month clock running on the March 27, 2008 effective date.

The Policy Notice should be withdrawn because permanent housing options are simply not available in most of the country and the problem is more dramatic for more vulnerable households such as low income people with HIV/AIDS. At this juncture, Ryan White grantees are simply not equipped to track clients from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and sub grantee to sub grantee as implementation of the policy would require. The Policy fails to provide the appropriate flexibility for medical professionals and grantees require in making decisions about individual patient needs.

ACTION: all your member of Congress and both Senators immediately. They can be reached via the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202)225-3121. Ask to speak with the staffer who handles HIV/AIDS issues or to the housing staffer. Ask the staffer to ask the member to contact Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and urge that the Housing Policy Amendment 99-02 be withdrawn immediately.

Please let NAHC know the results of your contact by emailing nahc@nationalaidshousing.org.

 

 

February 27, 2008

Alert Final Notice on Ryan White Issued

 

Out of the blue, the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) published in the Tuesday, February 26, 2008 Federal Register a final notice amending its Emergency and Transitional Housing Policy. (Click here to view the notice). Thanks to the terrific response of congressional supporters and many of you (200 comments to HRSA, overwhelmingly in opposition) HRSA withdrew the amendment in winter 2007. For background visit the NAHC Archives and scroll to February 27, 2007.  More...

 

 

 

 

February 5, 2008

No Increase for HOPWA Program

 

Washington, D.C. February 5, 2008 -- The Administration's FY 2009 budget announced yesterday proposed flat funding of $300.1 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program (HOPWA) for the upcoming fiscal year. This proposed funding level, which according to the budget, will provide housing for 70,500 persons with HIV/AIDS and their families, comes at a time when the community of AIDS service organizations anticipate the announcement of a significant increase in the estimated number of new HIV infections annually - as many as 60,000 cases, up significantly over the long- time new infection rate of 40,000 cases. Last year's HOPWA increase of $14 million, while falling far short of need, demonstrated an appreciation by the Administration of the role stable housing plays in better health outcomes for the thousands of people living with the debilitating and impoverishing effects of HIV/AIDS.  More...

 

 

 

January 30, 2008

Housing in Senate Economic Stimulus Package Ignores the Most Vulnerable

Tonight, the Senate Finance Committee will markup the Senate Economic Stimulus Package. Unfortunately, Senator Dodd has included a proposal to set aside $10 billion to buy foreclosed homes and turn them into affordable housing. There is no income targeting in his proposal and this is totally unacceptable when for so many, including people with HIV/AIDS--who are very poor--, affordable housing is simply out of reach.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there are approximately 9,022,000 extremely low income renter households, and not a single Congressional district has enough rental housing affordable and available to extremely low income families. Your Senator must hear from you immediately as the Stimulus Package, as you know, is on a very fast track. Please call their district or DC office tonight and demand that the set-aside include at least $1 billion of the $10 billion be designated to serve extremely low income individuals.

We would appreciate knowing the results of your contact. Please email nahc@nationalaidshousing.org. Thanks for your prompt response.

 

 

January 29, 2008

HUD Announces FY07 HOPWA Competitive Grantees

On Monday, January 28, 2008 HUD published in the Federal Register the 31 competitive grant awards for FY2007 totaling $32,123,248. In the notice HUD announced that the awardees included 27 permanent supportive housing renewal grants and 4 new permanent supportive housing demonstration grants.

Click here for the full text of the notice in pdf format.

 

 

January 25, 2008

Comparison of 2006-2008 HOPWA Formula Allocations

 

HUD's website now lists the amounts of CPD formula allocations for FY2008, including those for the HOPWA program.  NAHC member Robert Shiau, HOPWA administrator for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has created a user-friendly spreadsheet of the HOPWA formula comparisons for 2006-2008 by eligible area, including percent change.  Thanks Robert!

 

Click here to download the comparison as an Excel spreadsheet.

 

 

 

 

January 3, 2008

President Signs $555 Omnibus Spending Bill - Includes $300.1 m. for HOPWA

 

After months of stand off between Congress and the President, the remaining spending bills were passed and signed into law.  On December 26, 2007, the President finally approved Congress' FY2008 budget outlined in the conference report for the remainder of the spending bills, including THUD.  The HOPWA program was funded at $300.1 million, the highest level of funding in the program's history.  In 2008, HOPWA will fund approximately 124 formula jurisdictions.  The program provides assistance for an estimated 67,000 households affected by HIV/AIDS with assistance in the form of short-term and long-term rent, mortgage and utility payments, facility-based supportive housing and supportive services.  This is a huge victory for AIDS housing, and proves that this issue continues to capture the attention of both the President and members of Congress and is steadily becoming a fiscal priority for all.

 

 

 

December 20, 2007

FY 08 HOPWA Appropriations Update

 

Wednesday, December 19th, Congress sent the President an omnibus bill which included

$300 million in funding for HOPWA as agreed to in the conference report.  The President does have intentions on signing the bill, and Congress has issued another CR which will keep the federal government funded through December 31, giving the President enough time to review the legislation.  If approved by the President, this will be the highest level of funding that the HOPWA program has ever received.

 

 

 

December 19, 2007

NHTF Bill Introduced in the Senate

Introduced in the Senate for the first time since the 108th Congress, the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act has been introduced by long time supporter Senator John Kerry (D-MA), and has also started off with a bang receiving tripartisan support with cosponsorships from his colleagues Senators Olympia Snow (R-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Pete Domenici (R-NM), and Charles Schumer (D-NY), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Spearheaded by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and pushed with support from over 5600 endorsers - including many AIDS housing advocates -, the NAHTF bill has seen its share of disappointments, but with the recent passing of the bill in the House on October 10, 2007 by a vote of 264-148, and now with a strong introduction into the Senate, it looks as though this much needed bill intends on leaving a lasting impression on Congress.

This piece of legislation would direct dedicated sources of funding for the production, preservation and rehabilitation of 1.5 million affordable homes over the course of 10 years with a majority of the funding targeted to extremely low income people, including people with HIV/AIDS. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there are over 9 million extremely low income households and about one- third of them lack affordable housing.

This is a step in the right direction to address on a meaningful scale, housing need among the most vulnerable populations, including people with HIV/AIDS.

 

 

December 14, 2007

FY 2009 HOPWA Need Paper and Letter to the President

 

The National AIDS Housing Coalition has recently completed the FY2009 HOPWA Need Paper and sent a letter to the President urging a funding level of $470 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program for Fiscal Year 2009. HOPWA, which enjoys wide bipartisan support, is the only federal housing program that specifically provides cities and states hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic with the resources to address the housing crisis facing people living with AIDS.

Advances in treatment have offered new hope to people living with HIV/AIDS, but the costs associated with these treatments often force people to decide between essential medications and other necessities, such as housing. HOPWA helps meet this need, providing affordable housing to thousands of Americans battling AIDS. Due to budgetary constraints, the pending FY2008 appropriation faces potential cuts to the HOPWA program. With 91% of HOPWA recipients with family incomes less than $1000 per month, these are cuts the program recipients cannot afford.

The President submits his budget to Congress in February 2008. While your members are home during the Congressional recess, NAHC is asking you to consider using the FY2009 HOPWA Need Paper and the NAHC Policy Toolkit as tools to defend increased funding for your affordable housing programs.

Click here to download the letter to the President.

Click here to download the FY2009 HOPWA Need Paper.

Click here to view the NAHC Policy Toolkit.

 

 

 

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This page revised on March 10, 2008.