California: Newsom Budget Cuts Trans, AIDS Services
June 11, 2010
San Francisco officials plugged a $428.7 million deficit in the budget unveiled June 1, in small part by reducing HIV-related housing subsidies and eliminating employment assistance for transgendered residents.
"This came down to a lot of difficult choices in the last few days for closing the deficit," said Human Services Agency Executive Director Trent Rhorer.
The proposed budget asks persons eligible for HIV-related housing subsidies to contribute one-third of their income, compared to the 20 percent now assessed. The increase would bring the cost-sharing into line with similar programs and save the city between $500,000 and $550,000.
"Under the circumstances of a horrible budget, if that's as bad as it gets, that's not too bad," said Dr. Mitchell Katz, public health department director.
One challenge for the housing initiative is a restriction in the ability of the city to pay for subsidies with federal Ryan White program funds. Supervisor Bevan Dufty said he is working to restore the housing subsidy to its original level.
During the three years it has been in existence, San Francisco's Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative has helped about 125 persons find employment, said city officials. The program is budgeted currently at $270,498 annually.
Community organizers and public officials are working to find a way to restore the transgendered employment program, Dufty said.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
06.03.2010; Seth Hemmelgarn
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.
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