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HOPWA Program Overview
I. The National HOPWA Program
The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program is a federally-funded grant program that provides housing assistance and related supportive services for persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. HOPWA was established within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990. HOPWA has helped countless persons managing their HIV infection to avoid homelessness by addressing their needs for housing and access to medical and other care. Programs support everything from the construction of new housing units to social services, such as independent living skills training. According to the legislative history of the National Affordable Housing Act, HOPWA was developed with an understanding that housing is the cornerstone of a comprehensive continuum of care for people with HIV/AIDS.
In Federal Fiscal Year 2009, $276.1 million in formula funds were distributed to 91 eligible metropolitan statistical areas (EMSAs) and 40 eligible States (for areas outside of the EMSAs). Under the HOPWA formula, 75% of available funds are distributed to qualifying cities and eligible States based on their proportionate share of cumulative AIDS cases. The remaining 25% of formula funds are distributed to qualifying cities that have a higher than average incidence of new AIDS cases for the prior three years. Eligible areas must have at least 1,500 cumulative cases of AIDS. Also in FY 2009, an additional $30.7 million was awarded under a national competitive application process.
II. New York's HOPWA Program
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Ð Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control is the officially designated grantee for the HOPWA formula grant for the New York City Eligible Metropolitan Statistical Area (EMSA). In this capacity, DOHMH oversees and monitors the planning and delivery of HOPWA-funded housing and supportive service programs by City agencies and other project sponsors throughout the EMSA. Currently, the New York City EMSA is comprised of the five boroughs of New York City together with the counties of Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam.
Acting on behalf of the entire EMSA, DOHMH coordinates the HOPWA sections of the annual Consolidated Plan submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which includes collecting from City agencies utilizing HOPWA funds detailed reports on their use of these funds during the previous year and their plans for proposed HOPWA programming in the upcoming year. Pursuant to HUD regulations, DOHMH is required to solicit community input into the development of the HOPWA portions of the Consolidated Plan. For this purpose, DOHMH consults with the Housing Advisory Working Group and other community participants. In addition, DOHMH convenes regular meetings with HOPWA-funded City agencies to ensure effective collaborative planning and execution of the HOPWA grant.
For HOPWA Year 18 (April 1, 2009 Ð March 31, 2010), the New York City EMSA received $52,654,359 in HOPWA formula grant funds. HOPWA funds are currently used to support the following programs and services:
HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA): HASA uses the preponderance of its HOPWA funds to support over 2,600 units of permanent supportive housing provided in both a congregate and scattered-site settings. The agency also devotes a small amount of HOPWA funds for case management personnel.
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOMH): Through the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control Ð HOPWA Unit, DOMH funds 24 contracts with 16 community-based organizations to provide permanent and transitional supportive housing, long-term rental assistance, eviction prevention (short-term) rental assistance, and housing placement assistance services.
Lower Hudson Valley Counties- In addition to the five boroughs of New York City, the EMSA also covers the three counties of Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester. Together, these jurisdictions use HOPWA funds to support a wide range of activities, including: rental assistance; case management; housing placement assistance; short-term rent and utility payments to prevent eviction; counseling; and nutritional services. As the grantee, DOHMH works with these jurisdictions to plan and evaluate their use of HOPWA funds and to ensure the consistency of their efforts with those of the rest of the EMSA.
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