April 8th, 2022 -- New York, NY -- Housing Works, a NYC non-profit organization that provides advocacy, support, and lifesaving services to those impacted by homelessness and HIV/AIDS, denounces Governor Hochul’s failure to include $10M for full housing support for New Yorkers with HIV outside of NYC in the FY23 budget. Three previously enacted NYS Budgets included language that purported to extend equal access to housing assistance to unstably housed people with HIV (PWH) across the State. However, that language left the provision of benefits optional to local districts, and provided no State resources to cover additional benefits costs beyond what local districts are already required to pay. Despite then-Governor Cuomo’s promises, not a single community outside NYC has opted in over the past three years, and not a single person with HIV has been housed.
We extend our thanks to Senator Brad Hoylman and Senator Pete Harckham for helping lead the effort to include this language in the Senate one-house budget. This language included a $10M allocation to provide PWH experiencing homelessness or housing instability in any social service district in the State access to NYS HIV Emergency Shelter Allowance rental assistance up to 110% of HUD FMR in the locality–in alignment with Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other low-income housing programs. This language also expanded the 30% rent cap affordable housing protection to PWH who live outside NYC and rely on disability benefits or other extremely low income and provided NYS funding to support 100% of rental assistance costs that exceed the local share of HIV Emergency Shelter Allowance amounts promulgated by OTDA, and of additional rental assistance costs determined based on limiting rent contributions to 30% of income. We also wish to thank Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson, Assemblymember Demond Meeks, and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal for championing New Yorkers with HIV throughout this budget process. Sadly, Governor Hochul chose to omit this language from her proposed budget, despite her past promises to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
On World AIDS Day, December 1, 2021, Governor Hochul pledged to meet key goals to end the epidemic by 2024 and said in her press release, “Health equity, social determinants of health, and addressing racial disparities will be the center of our focus as we move forward.” However, the Governor’s proposed FY23 budget does not reflect her pledge. Extension of rental assistance to people with HIV statewide is a key component of the Ending the Epidemic (EtE) Blueprint that remained unaddressed throughout the Cuomo administration, and Governor Hochul is merely continuing his negligence– this time, in exchange for a billion-dollar stadium. Every low-income New Yorker with HIV experiencing homelessness or housing instability deserves equal access to NYS HIV rental assistance and the 30% rent cap affordable housing protection, regardless of where in the State they reside.
About Housing Works
For 30 years, Housing Works has fueled the fight to end HIV and homelessness. Our Thrift Shops and signature events directly benefit our trailblazing work in grassroots activism, healthcare, and housing. Housing Works led the way during the height of the AIDS crisis in New York City, and continues to lead advocacy efforts across the country in support of social justice.