The New York Times reports the state has ordered New York's city welfare agency to dramatically increase rent contributions from poor adults who are HIV-positive and reside in subsidized housing. Effective Nov. 1, they will be required to pay all but $330 of their monthly income—which comes from federal assistance—toward rent.
The roughly 2,200 people who will be affected by the increase make up about one-third of those who receive housing services through the H.I.V./AIDS Services Administration.
Nearly all of the 2,200 adults receive either Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance, federal programs that help disabled people. Most of them used to be homeless and now live in buildings that offer medical services.
The new formula is a disturbing sign of the times, as federal funding for HIV/AIDS is dramatically decreasing—especially money directed to New York City and New Jersey. That new funding bill is sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA) and opposed by Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey
The bottom line: "Most of the people in the program will be paying more than half their income for rent." Patrick McGovern, executive director of the Harlem United Community AIDS Center, says the new formula means people who already poor and sick "will have to concentrate more on their daily survival needs than on getting and staying well."
Previously:AIDS Funding Uncertain (Rod 2.0) HIV Update (Rod 2.0) Hillary on AIDS Funding (Rod 2.0)