the beginning of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in the
early 1980s, many individuals living with the disease have had difficulty
finding affordable, stable housing. As individuals become ill, they may
find themselves unable to work, while at the same time facing health care
expenses that leave few resources to pay for housing. In addition, many of those
persons living with AIDS struggled to afford housing even before being
diagnosed with the disease. The financial vulnerability associated with
AIDS, as well as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS,
results in a greater likelihood of homelessness among persons living with
the disease. At the same time, those who are homeless may be more likely
to engage in activities through which they could acquire or transmit HIV.
Further, recent research has indicated that those individuals living with
HIV who live in stable housing have better health outcomes than those who
are homeless or unstably housed, and that they spend fewer days in
hospitals and emergency rooms.
Congress recognized the housing needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS when it
approved the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program
in 1990 as part of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act
(P.L. 101-625). The HOPWA program, administered by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD), funds short-term and permanent
housing, together with supportive services, for individuals living with
HIV/AIDS and their families. In addition, a small portion of funds
appropriated through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, administered by the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), may also be used to fund
short-term housing for those living with HIV/AIDS.
In FY2012, Congress appropriated $332 million for HOPWA as part of the
Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 112-55). This was a reduction of $3
million from the $335 million appropriated in FY2011 and FY2010, the most
funding ever appropriated for the program. Prior to FY2010, the most that
had been appropriated for HOPWA was $310 million in FY2009. HOPWA funds
are distributed to states and localities through both formula and competitive grants.
HUD awards 90% of appropriated funds by formula to states and eligible
metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) based on population, reported cases
of AIDS, and incidence of AIDS. The remaining 10% is distributed through a
grant competition. Funds are used primarily for housing activities,
although grant recipients must provide supportive services to those persons residing
in HOPWA-funded housing.
Date of Report: July 3, 2012
Number of Pages: 26 Order Number: RL34318 Price: $29.95
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