The Fight for a 30 Percent Rent Cap
Currently, most people who live in public and/or supportive housing have their rental payments capped at 30% of their income. However, New York City residents with HIV/AIDS who live in subsidized housing are excluded from the 30% rent cap, often forcing them to use a large portion of their limited public benefits for rental payments. Because of this exclusion, many HIV-positive people are left nearly destitute each month, and in some cases, living on as little as $12 a day.
Housing Works and the grassroots organization VOCAL-New York have long argued that over time, increased housing stability would allow the state to save millions in emergency housing and medical care costs. Since 2005, Housing Works has fought for the passage of New York State legislation that would cap the rents of approximately 10,000 poor New Yorkers with AIDS who receive housing subsidies from New York City. A 30% Rent Cap would redress a cruel and unfair policy of the city’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA).
In 2010, the 30 Percent Rent Cap bill passed both houses of the state legislature, but then-Governor Paterson vetoed it. The governor had promised to sign the bill on two occasions, but reversed his decision, thanks in part to pressure from New York City Mayor Bloomberg.
We continue to work on passing the 30% Rent Cap legislation to ensure that all New Yorkers are given the opportunity to have safe and secure housing. You can view the NYS Senators’ voting on the rent cap bill here.
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