July 13, 2010
Washington, D.C. -- The National AIDS Housing Coalition (NAHC) is encouraged by today's release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). NAHC member organizations and supporters were among the hundreds from across the country who elevated housing as a critical need in community focus groups conducted by the Office of National AIDS Policy the past 15 months.
Housing is prominently featured in the goal of "Increasing Access to Care and Improving Health Outcomes." Step 3 of this goal is: "Support people living with HIV with co-occurring health conditions and those who have challenges meeting their basic needs, such as housing." The anticipated result of Step 3 is that by 2015 the percentage of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients with permanent housing will increase from 82 percent to 86 percent (from 434,000 to 455,800 people). This serves as a measurable proxy of efforts to expand access to HUD and other housing supports to all needy people living with HIV (page 23 of the Strategy).
The Strategy also directs HUD to "work with Congress to develop a plan (including seeking statutory changes if necessary) to shift to HIV/AIDS case reporting as a basis for formula grants for HOPWA funding" in order to increase coordination among federal agencies under the goal of "Achieving a More Coordinated National Response to the HIV Epidemic" (page 27 of the Implementation Plan).
"Housing is essential to the ability of people with HIV/AIDS to enter into and remain in care and to preventing the spread of the virus," said NAHC Executive Director Nancy Bernstine. "PWAs and AIDS housing and healthcare providers are guardedly optimistic that the NHAS not only acknowledges this critical need but offers solutions for identifying and expanding housing options and ending homelessness and housing instability for folks coping with the debilitating and impoverishing affects of HIV/AIDS."
NAHC encourages its partners to read The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the Implementation Plan, and the President's Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Agencies and Departments for more information.
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