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Action Alert: Tell Congress You Support Permanent Fix to Ryan White Housing Policy!

February 23, 2010

Tell your rep to be like Rosa!
Tell your rep to be like Rosa!
We're all excited about the temporary recision of the HRSA housing policy that would prevent people with HIV/AIDS from getting kicked out of their housing after a 24-month lifetime cap. But the fix is just temporary, and we need to continue our advocacy to make this recision permanent!

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting that "all grantees be directed to immediately provide written notice to clients receiving Ryan White housing assistance regarding the change in this policy.

DeLauro also expresses her support for a permanent extension of Ryan White housing beyond the previous 24 month lifetime cap. She wrote in her letter, "We also support the inclusion of a waiver for physician-certified medical necessity, allowing persons receiving Ryan White housing to continue receiving housing assistance beyond a lifetime cap when appropriate."

Rep. DeLauro's office has already sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to the entire House of Representatives, urging them to join her in this letter, but your representative needs to hear from you!

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your representative's office. Find out who represents you.

Ask to speak to the housing or health staffer and request that your representative co-sign the HRSA policy letter led by Congresswoman DeLauro.

The text of the "Dear Colleague" letter sent by Rep. DeLauro to the entire House of Representatives is below. Thanks for your support!

Dear Colleague,

As you may have heard, HRSA recently repealed HIV/AIDS Bureau Policy Notice 99-02, Amendment 1 pending a review. Under this revoked policy notice, published in February 2008 with an effective date of March 27, 2008, persons receiving Ryan White housing on that date would lose their housing assistance on March 26, 2010. While it is a relief that persons receiving Ryan White housing as of March 27, 2008 will not lose their housing assistance on March 26, 2010, a concern remains for those who are currently receiving Ryan White housing.

I urge you to join me in a letter to Secretary Sebelius advocating for a permanent policy that increases the availability of affordable, stable housing for those living with HIV/AIDS. For people living with HIV/AIDS, stable housing is central to their ability to manage their disease and has a direct impact on improved medical care. Housing status is one of the strongest predictors of health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS. It is a more significant predictor of health outcomes than individual characteristics such as demographics, drug and alcohol use, and receipt of social services. Over time, access to housing enables access to care and the ability to stay in care, entry into HIV care, primary care visits, continuous care, and care that meets clinical practice standards.

I hope you will consider joining me in this important letter.


Rosa L. DeLauro
Member of Congress

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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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