D.C.'s Housing Waitlist Doesn't Budge -- Leaving Nearly One Thousand HIV-Positive Residents in Limbo
August 22, 2012
One month after the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, housing for people living with HIV/AIDS continues to be a major problem.
As you may remember, it was this pivotal issue that drew fierce criticisms of DC Mayor Vincent Gray during his speech at the opening of the IAC's Global Village, where a dozen activists called on the mayor to end the District's waiting list for HOPWA (housing opportunities for people with AIDS), which was said to be 1,000 people long.
And according to a Washington Blade story that broke this afternoon, this number has remained static, with a reported 968 people on the waitlist for the DC-assisted housing. One man who was interviewed said he had been on the waitlist for over seven years.
DC is set to receive approximately 8 million in funds to be used across a spectrum of housing options, including rental assistance, utility bill aid, and programs that help transition folks out of emergency shelters and into permanent housing. Larry Bryant, Housing Works' Director for National Advocacy and Organizing, who led the protest against Mayor Gray last July, hopes that the money is used in ways that create people living with HIV/AIDS, not just housing them without meeting other needs, such as substance abuse issues or mental health issues.
Hopefully with a new fiscal year, we will see DC's waitlist drop to zero and the District's most vulnerable properly housed.
This article was provided by Housing Works. It is a part of the publication Housing Works AIDS Issues Update. Visit Housing Works' website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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