Local and Community News
New York Housing Complex for AIDS Patients Awaits Final Decision
February 6, 2003
Rockland, N.Y.'s first housing complex for people with HIV/AIDS may receive final approval at the Thursday night meeting of the village Planning Board. A public hearing will precede the vote.Adapted from:
If approved, renovation of the four buildings on Fred Hecht Drive would begin during the spring; current tenants would be relocated; and the 14-unit complex would be ready for its new residents by the end of the year. "It's been a long time coming," said Ellen Devlin, program supervisor for AIDS Related Community Services, a Spring Valley nonprofit that serves 65 local HIV-positive clients and their families.
Joseph's Home, a nonprofit agency that works with people with disabilities, owns the complex and has applied for permission to renovate it. The housing is intended for families with one HIV-positive member; low or no income; and the inability to work for health reasons. Residents of the rent-subsidized apartments have not yet been selected.
Currently, Rockland residents with HIV/AIDS who need housing assistance must depend on federal Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS vouchers that pay at least 70 percent of their rent. Not enough vouchers are available, however.
Even as project supporters wonder whether the location -- a neighborhood known for drug dealing and occasional shootings -- is appropriate, they acknowledge that any type of stable housing is a welcome addition. About 1,450 Rockland residents had AIDS in December 2000; about 60 percent of county residents with AIDS need some housing assistance, estimated Robert Maher, executive director of Together Our Unity Can Heal, a Congers AIDS agency.
The idea for creating housing for people with HIV/AIDS in Rockland has been around for more than a decade. John Murphy, a county legislator and the founder, president and board chair of Joseph's Home, said the delay was largely because of municipal rules and regulations, as well as a lack of resolve to move forward quickly.
Journal News (Westchester County, N.Y.)
02.03.03; Khurram Saeed
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.