Positive Places: Housing for People Living with HIV/AIDS in DC

Thank your members of Congress!!! 25 million dollar increase in national HOPWA funding

On December 8. the conference report of appropriation bill of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development was filed for FY 2010. The bill included a $25 million increase above the $335 million allocation for HOPWA funding that President Obama asked for. Please CLICK HERE to take a look at the appropriations bill, find out how your members of Congress (2 senators and your representative) voted by visiting thomas.loc.gov and call them and thank them!!!

Co-signers needed in U.S. House of Representatives :Repeal the 24 month HRSA Housing Policy Amendement

Families receiving Ryan White housing assistance will begin to lose their housing on March 26, 2010 based on this policy. Permanent housing options are simply not available in most parts of the country, and the lack of affordable housing is an emergency situation for more vulnerable households such as low income people with HIV/AIDS.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ?

Please ask your Representative to co-sign the letter from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) calling on Secretary Sebelius to reconsider this amendment.

Ask for the housing staffer and ask that your Representative co-sign the HRSA Policy letter led by Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro.

Contact information for the staffer is set out in the "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. DeLauro below.
______________________________________________
Co-Sign HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) Policy Amendment Letter

Contact: Meghan Whealan- meghan.whealan@mail.house.gov

From the desk of honorable Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro

Dear Colleague,
I urge you to join me in a letter to Secretary Sebelius expressing our concern for a policy that would limit the ability of affordable, stable housing for those living with HIV/AIDS. Under the policy notice, published in February 2008 with an effective date of March 27, 2008, persons receiving Ryan White housing on that date will lose their housing assistance on March 26, 2010.

For people coping with the affects of HIV/AIDS, stable housing is central to their ability to manage their disease and has a direct impact on their 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 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. For more information or to sign on, please contact Meghan Whealan on my staff at 5-3661 or meghan.whealan@mail.house.gov by December 10, 2009.

Sincerely,
Rosa L. DeLauro, Member of Congress

Ask your U.S. House of Representative and senators to sign the Concurrent Resolutions on HIV and Housing !!!

House Concurrent Resolution 137 :Expressing the sense of the Congress that the lack of adequate housing must be addressed as a barrier to effective HIV prevention, treatment, and care, and that the United States should make a commitment to providing adequate funding for developing housing as a response to the AIDS pandemic.

Currently there is only one sponsor and 23 co-sponsors to the resolution... Please CLICK HERE to see if your representative is one of them. If not, call and ask your representative to cosponsor House Concurrent Resolution 137

Senate Concurrent Resolution 39: A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress that stable and affordable housing is an essential component of an effective strategy for the prevention, treatment, and care of human immunodeficiency virus, and that the United States should make a commitment to providing adequate funding for the development of housing as a response to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome pandemic.

Currently there are only 3 co-sponsors to the resolution... Please CLICK HERE to see if your senators are among the sponsors. If not, call your senators and ask them to co-sponsor Senate Concurrent Resolution 39

New! Our online petition!!!

Our online petition is a great way to show your support for housing efforts for people living with HIV/AIDS here in D.C. Stable housing improves the health and quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS as well as decreases transmission rates and protects the public.

OVER 300 signatures from metro Washington residents have been collected through paper petitions

CLICK HERE to sign our online petition.

ENDORSE the International Declaration on Poverty, Instability and HIV/AIDS

The International Declaration on Poverty, Instability and HIV/AIDS was created by more than 150 HIV/AIDS advocates, activists and experts during the 2009 International AIDS Conference held in Mexico City.  They include our coalition members National AIDS Housing Coalition and Housing Works. The Declaration was discussed and adopted at the conference. It was then presented to and accepted by International AIDS Society official Ron McInnis . Currently there are thousands of other endorsers from all over the world. Following is the text of the International Declaration on Poverty, Instability and HIV/AIDS

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of him [or her] self and of his [or her] family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his [or her] control.

- Article 25, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Whereas adequate and secure housing has long been recognized as a basic human right,

Whereas growing empirical evidence shows that the socioeconomic circumstances of individuals and groups are equally or even more important to health status than medical care and personal health behaviors,

Whereas in the case of HIV/AIDS, the link between poverty and disparities in HIV risk and health outcomes is well established, and new research findings demonstrate the direct relationship between inadequate housing and greater risk of HIV infection, poor health outcomes and early death,

Whereas poor living conditions, including overcrowding and in extreme cases, homelessness, undermine safety, privacy and efforts to promote self-respect, human dignity and the attendant responsible sexual behavior,

Whereas the lack of stable housing directly impacts the ability of people living in poverty to reduce HIV risk behaviors and homeless and unstably housed persons are two to six times more likely to use hard drugs, share needles or exchange sex than similar persons with stable housing,

Whereas, in spite of the evidence indicating that adequate housing has a direct positive effect on HIV prevention, treatment and health outcomes,the lack of adequate housing resources has been largely ignored in conferences and policy discussions at the international level, and

Whereas the United Nations, in both its 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, embraced the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention programs, treatment, care and support by 2010.

Therefore, we hereby demand that policy makers address the lack of adequate housing as a barrier to effective HIV prevention, treatment, and care; and we further demand that all governments fund and develop housing as a response to the AIDS pandemic.


CLICK HERE to ENDORSE the International Declaration on Poverty, Housing Instability and HIV/AIDS.