This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
HIV/AIDS Housing Myths and Facts:
Response to Mayor Bloombergʼs Misleading Information About The 30% Rent Cap Affordable Housing Bill for People With HIV/AIDS
Nearly 11,000 low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS are at risk of becoming homeless because of a flaw in the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) rental assistance program, which requires clients to spend between 50-85% of their disability income towards rent each month. Many are forced into homelessness, while those who keep their housing face difficult trade-offs between paying rent and other essential needs. State legislation (S.2664/A.2565) introduced by Senator Duane and Assembly Member Glick would establish the same affordable housing protection for HASA clients that already exists in supportive housing, Section 8, public housing and other programs, which is capping the tenant's rent share at 30% of their income. This bill will save the city and state millions of dollars and help vulnerable New Yorkers keep their homes. Keeping people in their homes is less costly than pushing them into emergency housing that costs 2 -3 times as much as the rental assistance program. Despite Mayor Bloombergʼs commitment to promoting public health and affordable housing in New York City, his administration has been opposing this common sense bill. This document addresses myths contained in the mayorʼs memo of opposition and right-wing media attacks on the bill. Myth: The legislation will cost New York City and State $31 million annually. Fact: The affordable housing bill will save the city and state at least $2.4 million annually. Direct and immediate savings will be captured through reduced spending on arrears, evictions and emergency housing placements within the same budget. The New York State and City HIV/AIDS housing assistance program is still obligated to pay for emergency housing when a client loses their apartment, which costs 2 - 3 times as much as rental assistance (even with the rent cap). The status quo is too expensive to continue. Myth: The Bloomberg administration produced an accurate cost estimate for the legislation. Fact: The cityʼs cost estimate is full of errors and unexplained assumptions, data and conclusions. It includes thousands of supportive housing units that already have a 30% rent
80-A Fourth Ave. | Brooklyn, NY 11217 | (718) 802-9540 | 718-228-2477 fax | www.nycahn.org | email@example.com
cap, data that contradicts what information obtained through a FOIL request, and fails to track housing loss that leads to wasteful and inefficient spending. Myth: The proposed law will involve an upfront cost but delayed long-term savings. Fact: The bill includes a direct and immediate cost offset. By reducing wasteful spending on costly arrears and emergency housing, this bill will produce concurrent cost savings that offset the cost of implementing the affordable housing protection. Myth: There are only 75 evictions in HASAʼs rental assistance program annually. Fact: Housing loss and homelessness is extremely high. The cityʼs definition of an eviction is overly narrow and fails to acknowledge that most people leave their apartment before the marshal forcibly removes them. In reality, over 1 in 20 clients in the program are homeless and reside in costly emergency housing at any point in time. While HASA inexplicably does not track how many clients lose their apartments, about one-quarter of HASA clients fall into arrears every year and at least 50% can be expected to lose their apartments as a result. Myth: The state and city cannot capture savings through reduced commercial SRO occupancy. Fact: The state and city will realize immediate cost savings when the number of clients falling into arrears and losing their apartments declines as a result of the affordable housing protection. HASA has informal MOU agreements with commercial SRO hotels that allows them to pay for units only when a client is residing there. Myth: This legislation will create a new program based solely on a personʼs medical diagnosis and not economic circumstances. Fact: This bill will not establish any precedent or new benefit; instead, it will align the HIV/AIDS housing program with every other low-income housing assistance program in New York. This bill will have no effect on medical or income eligible for HASA. Housing assistance for low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS dates back to the 1980s. In fact, over 4,000 HASA clients already have a 30% rent share cap because they reside in supportive housing. The proposed law will simply correct a flaw in the rental assistance program that has led to high rates of homelessness and undermined the goal of promoting stable housing and connection to medical care.
For more information, contact Sean Barry at (646) 373-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org