Categories: New York State, New York City
Major victory for HIV/AIDS, supportive housing advocates
Advocates from the HIV/AIDS and supportive housing communities are celebrating a long-awaited policy victory in New York City.
Last week, Gov Andrew Cuomo released his 30-day amendments for the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget. The amendments include new language to fix a rental assistance program for people living with HIV/AIDS in New York City. The governor proposes to place a cap on the amount of money these individuals must pay in rent. Under the amendment, tenants with HIV/AIDS can be charged no more than 30% of their annual income in rent.
This rent cap – advocated for years by our friends at VOCAL, Housing Works and other allies – represents a major victory for low-income and formerly homeless individuals living with HIV/AIDS in NYC. NYC is home to 12,000 individuals with HIV/AIDS, many of whom pay up to 70 percent of their disability income toward rent.
The 30-day amendment comes on the heels of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget proposal earlier this month, which also included a 30% rent cap for HIV/AIDS tenants. New York City will pay for roughly $17 million, or 70 percent of the costs associated with this partnership; New York State will pay for the remaining 30 percent, or $9 million.
This policy fix will help prevent thousands of low-income New Yorkers from becoming homeless. We congratulate Housing Works, VOCAL and all our partners who’ve been on the front lines of this issue for years, and we applaud Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo for their action!
For a press release on all the governor’s 30-day amendments, see here.