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U.S. News

New York: Silver Supports Help for Tenants With HIV/AIDS

January 11, 2010

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is committed to passing a proposed housing bill for New York City residents living with HIV/AIDS, according to a spokesperson. "The speaker supports the measure and our goal is to pass it as early in session as possible," Melissa Mansfield said. The legislation, A2565/S2664, passed the Senate in July by a vote of 52 to 1.

The measure aims to extend housing protection to 11,000 low-income clients of the city's HIV/AIDS Services Administration by capping their monthly share of rent at 30 percent of income. The difference would be paid by the city and state governments. Currently, these clients pay between 50 and 85 percent of their disability income toward rent each month.

Sean Barry, executive director of the New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN), said without the lower cap, patients are forced to make difficult choices among essential needs. "I'm not exaggerating when I say housing is fundamental to the survival of people with AIDS. When our members have to budget half or more of their income each month it means real trade-offs," he said. "Like going to the doctor, buying cold medicine in the winter time, and other needs critical to people living with HIV/AIDS."

Advocates of the measure hope it will lead to fewer evictions of clients and an overall healthier and more manageable lifestyle.

According to Barry, all costs of the program will be fully offset by reducing arrears, evictions, and emergency shelter placements. He noted that placing clients in emergency shelters costs the government two times more than capping their rent payments.

NYCAHN has been working with the legislation's sponsors, Sen. Tom Duane and Assembly member Deborah Glick, on the issue since 2007.

Back to other news for January 2010

Adapted from:
Legislative Gazette (Albany)
01.04.2010; Amanda Cedrone

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.
See Also
More on U.S. Gov't Housing Assistance in Eastern States


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