Los Angeles Housing Needs Study
Study on the Housing Needs of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles, California
June 10, 1999
The City of Los Angeles commissioned Shelter Partnership, Inc. to conduct a study and prepare a report on the housing and social service needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS throughout the County of Los Angeles. This study is only the second major study in the nation to examine the housing needs of low-income people with HIV or AIDS in a metropolitan area. The first study of homelessness among people with HIV/AIDS was conducted by Philadelphia's Office of Housing and Community Development in 1996. Communities that undertake these needs assessments and plans have sought to: describe the housing needs of Persons with AIDS (PWAs); identify and evaluate the available housing and services; identify gaps in housing and services; develop strategies for filling gaps in housing and services; coordinate Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) and Ryan White CARE Act funding activities; and prioritize future funding allocations.
The LA study broadly defines "homelessness" to include not only people living on the streets or in a car, abandoned building or homeless shelter, but also those who once lived on their own but had to "double up" with family or friends.
Surveys were conducted by Shelter Partnership staff of clients, housing providers and service providers. Data from 61 housing programs were collected: 34 social services and health care programs, 785 PWAs at 77 housing, social services, and health care sites from July through December 1997.
Demographics of the PWA Survey Respondents (selected findings)
Housing Preferences of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS
Almost half (47%) of the PWA survey respondents lived in an apartment, condominium, townhouse, or house. Seventeen percent lived in a licensed AIDS residential facility; eight percent lived in a homeless shelter; and two percent were living on the streets, in a car, or in an abandoned or condemned building.
The three most important neighborhood features to the PWA survey respondents were liking the neighborhood, accessibility to public transportation, and being near the doctor or health care. The building features that were most important to the PWA survey were building amenities; individual bathroom, kitchen, etc.; and individual sleeping spaces. The three program features that were most important were affordability, no waiting list, and sober living environment. According to the PWAs, the five most important social services in improving their quality of lives and in allowing them to remain in their housing were: food, financial assistance, medical care, transportation, and case management.
Developing HIV/AIDS Housing
The surveyed housing, social services, and health care providers and PWAs were all in agreement regarding the top four housing options most needed by persons living with HIV/AIDS: (1) long-term rental/mortgage assistance to keep PWAs in their own homes, (2) subsidized independent living in an apartment with linkages to social services, 3) transitional housing, and (4) emergency shelter.
The following are some recommendations resulting from the surveys and interviews conducted. The recommendations are not listed by priority or weight but in order of the report sections.
Used by permission from a January 1999 article by Rene Rizo, Project Manager, Shelter Partnership, Inc.
To receive a copy of the Executive Summary, call Shelter Partnership at (213) 688-2188. To receive a copy of the 175 page report, call the HOPWA Section at the Los Angeles Housing Department at (213) 367-9263.
This article was provided by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.