Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS
Posted by Sunny Bjerk , April 03, 2013
ACTION ALERT: Please contact the housing staffer in your Representative’s office TODAY and ask that your Representative sign the HOPWA letter being circulated by Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Joseph Crowley, and James McDermott.
This letter, addressed to the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, requests that the Subcommittee fund the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program at $335 million for FY2014.
The letter closes April 8, so please act NOW!
- Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask for your Representative’s office
- Ask to speak to the housing or health staffer and request that your member co-sign the HOPWA letter sponsored by Rep. Nadler, Rep. Crowley and Rep. McDermott
- Let NAHC know of the result of your outreach: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read the in full online or below.
Dear Chairman Latham and Ranking Member Pastor:
We write to request that the Committee once again support the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program in the year’s Transportation-HUD appropriations bill. While the HIV/AIDS community, including the National AIDS Housing Coalition, has recommended a funding level of $365.2 million, which would ensure that 62,500 households in need would receive the housing support that could save their lives, we urge the Committee to, at a minimum, restore funding for this important, highly effective and bipartisan program at its FY10 funding level of $335 million.
HIV/AIDS continues to challenge communities nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 48,100 people in the United States were newly infected with HIV in 2009, and of those who know their diagnosis, fifty percent remain outside of care. AIDS housing experts project that half of the 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. will need some form of housing assistance during their lifetime. The HOPWA program enjoys wide bipartisan support and is the only federal housing program that specifically provides cities and states with resources to address the housing crisis facing people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Housing’s role in helping people access and adhere to care is unquestionable. In the most recent program year, ninety-five percent of HOPWA clients receiving permanent housing remained stably housed and 87% had contact with a healthcare provider.
Research shows that stable housing leads to better health outcomes for those living with HIV. Inadequate or unstable housing is not only a barrier to effective treatment, but also puts people with HIV/AIDS at risk of premature death from exposure to other diseases, poor nutrition, stress, and lack of medical care. Housing interventions are critical in our continued fight against HIV/AIDS, and even modest investments in stable housing programs saves federal and state tax dollars. For example, in the Chicago Housing for Health Partnership program, participants who received housing assistance used one-third fewer inpatient hospital days and one-quarter fewer emergency room visits than their counterparts who did not receive housing assistance. In the same study, 40% of the HIV-positive participants who received housing achieved undetectable levels of HIV as compared to 21% of their counterparts not receiving housing.
HOPWA is a national safety net for people battling HIV/AIDS, providing competitive and formula grants to all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands since 1992. HOPWA enables cities and states to design and provide community-based, cost-effective housing for people living with HIV/AIDS, and their families, with maximum flexibility to meet local needs. In addition, the administrative costs of the program are capped, ensuring the money goes directly to serving people with HIV/AIDS.
HOPWA remains an essential component in the array of programs needed to assure the availability of safe, affordable housing for low-income people with HIV/AIDS. Therefore, we urge the Committee to recommend funding for HOPWA at $335 million in this year’s bill.
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