[Last month], the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $32 million in grant awards to assist more than 1,300 extremely low-income persons and families living with HIV/AIDS annually. The grant awards will provide these households with a stable living environment, which is essential to accessing healthcare and HIV related services. In addition to housing assistance these grant programs will provide access to the needed supportive services in assisting beneficiaries with a path to self-sufficiency such as life skills, job readiness services and employment training.
The funding announced [last month] is offered through HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) and will renew HUD’s support of 30 local programs in 20 states (see attached chart and individual project descriptions below).
“These grants will provide our local partners with crucial funding that is necessary to provide individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS a place to call home,” said Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The comfort of knowing that you have a roof over your head makes a huge difference in the wellbeing of families and gives hope to those who might otherwise end up living on the streets.”
Many of the projects receiving renewed funding provide for specialized models in outreach and service delivery, including efforts that target help to persons who have been homeless or are at extreme risk of becoming homeless. The awarded programs are designed to increase coordination with the homeless assistance grant programs as well as other federal resources provided at the local level. These grants offer innovations in HIV care to increase job readiness and employment opportunities for persons in stabilized care. The grants announced [last month] also support the Obama Administration’s Opening Doors, strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, and National HIV AIDS Strategy, that identifies Housing as a key component to preventing the spread of HIV.
In addressing goals under these strategies, HUD will contribute a variety of housing resources to promote better integration of housing interventions into comprehensive HIV care systems. Housing assistance and related services funded by HOPWA are an essential part of the comprehensive system of care for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. A stable home environment is also vital for these households in allowing them to access consistent medical care and maintain their health. Furthermore, secure housing can be a platform for improved quality of life.
Ninety percent of HOPWA funds are distributed by formula to cities and states based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HUD’s formula grants are managed by 138 local and state jurisdictions, which coordinate AIDS housing efforts with other HUD and community resources. Overall, these resources assist over 60,000 households annually to provide stable housing and reduced risks of homelessness for those living with HIV and other challenges.