Celebrating a Giant Step on the Road to End Homelessness

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy
For the past year, Care for the Homeless client leaders and our certified client advocates have fought for extending a “30% rent cap” to all people living with HIV/AIDS in city subsidized HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration) housing programs. So it was with extreme pleasure that we got the word last week that the Mayor and Governor have jointly taken action to guarantee the 30% rent cap to more than 10,000 New Yorkers in HASA housing.

Mayor de Blasio hailed the city-state effort, and so do we!

Unlike most extremely low income housing and subsidized housing for poor households with disabilities, HASA housing never guaranteed a 30% rent cap. It always should have. Governor Cuomo said, “By implementing a 30% income cap for low-income renters with HIV/AIDS, we are protecting New Yorkers in
need and making our communities stronger, healthier, and more compassionate for all.”

Our client advocates spoke out for this most recently Wednesday morning at a Care for the Homeless policy breakfast and have visited with policy makers and elected officials urging the change. On Wednesday client leaders advocating for the 30% cap included Garrett McMahan, Gayle Dorsky, Philip Malebranche, Bill Bryant and Anthony Williams.

We salute our client leaders for their successful advocacy, along with our advocacy partners including VOCAL, GMHC, the Supportive Housing Network of New York, United to End Homelessness and so many more.

Study after study documents homelessness is a public health hazard, especially increasing risks for people living with HIV/AIDS. The 30% rent cap is a federally adopted HUD guideline for affordable housing. No low income household should pay more than 30% of gross household income for housing.

While we celebrate this victory, which we hope will very quickly be instituted, we recognize the need to make 30% capped housing available to every homeless household, and how very far we remain from that goal that promises better outcomes for people experiencing homelessness, for our communities and not insignificantly substantial savings in tax dollars, too.

Please join us. Sign up for our Policy Matters newsletter here. Become a Care for the Homeless Advocate to End Homelessness.

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