How to use this toolkit

Get Informed

  • Read the NAHC Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit Policy Papers
  • Study the research findings (see the Summit III Briefing Book and the Policy Papers)
  • Learn about NAHC’s federal legislative priorities:
  • Demand full funding for programs for affordable housing for PLWHA and other disabling conditions, including HOPWA
  • Urge Congress to enact the National Housing Trust Fund as a dedicated source of funding for low-income housing
  • Call for passage of the Second Chance Act, to address barriers to housing for persons leaving prison and jail
  • Support the Services for Ending Long Term Homelessness Act to fund services in supportive housing

Gather the Facts

  • Document the results of housing programs:
  • Service providers are well placed to gather evidence from program data and evaluations
  • “Hard” health care markers like CD4 and viral load make it possible to track the impact of housing interventions
  • Team up with researchers in your community to analyze data and report results
    • Call for standardized reporting on housing status as part of all federal and local HIV prevention and health care program reporting
    • Learn more about HIV housing need from NAHC’s HOPWA 2009 Need paper
    • Learn more about your community’s low income housing crisis
    • See housing affordability Congressional District Profiles developed by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).
    • See NLIHC’s Out of Reach 2007-2008 report to learn the “housing wage” in your area – the amount of money a household must earn to afford rental housing at HUD fair market rates.

    • Educate Decision Makers

      • Members of your congressional delegation
      • Don’t know who your congressional representative is? Visit www.house.gov to find out.
      • Learn about key committees and about their relevance to housing and health decision-making visit including:
      • Senate Appropriations Committee
      • Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee
      • Senate HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions)
      • House Appropriations Committee
      • House Financial Services Committee (handles housing issues)
      • House Energy and Commerce Committee (handles health issues)
      • Learn about the Congressional timeline and opportunities for action, including the budget process (from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
      • Visit Washington-based and local offices of your member of Congress
        • Federal agencies
        • HUD – the Department of Housing and Urban Development
        • HHS – the Department of Health and Human Services
        • State and local elected officials
        • State and local departments of health
        • Administrators responsible for public assistance; mental health services; substance abuse services; homeless services
        • Private funders of services and research

        Inform Local Planning Processes

        Make sure your local housing and health planning processes are informed by the facts. Opportunities are available to use the Tool Kit to inform healthcare and housing policy at every level of government to influence the deployment of resources and affect strategies for delivery of HIV care and treatment and prevention services.


        HOPWA grantee community-wide HIV/AIDS housing plans

        While no statutory mandates exist, the Department of Housing and Urban Development encourages HOPWA grantees to develop community–wide strategies and partner with area nonprofits to provide housing assistance and supportive services for eligible persons. Many communities utilize HOPWA technical assistance funding to develop HIV/AIDS Housing plans which bring together local housing and healthcare providers and other interested stakeholders to identify HIV/AIDS housing need and devise strategies to address it. Click here for more information.


        Ryan White CARE Act planning

        Similar planning processes are available on the healthcare side through the Ryan White Planning Councils which operate by law all Title I Eligible Metropolitan Areas (EMAs). The Planning Councils, at least one-third of the membership of which is comprised of people living with HIV and receiving HIV services, sets priorities for funding based on identified needs. See Ryan White Care Act Amendments of 1996, P.L. 106-146.


        Continuum of Care homeless housing assistance plans

        The Continuum of Care is the local planning process through which interested stakeholders engage in assessing the housing and service needs of homeless people, developing a strategic plan to meet those needs, and apply for HUD
        funding through the McKinney Vento federal homeless assistance grant program. The Continuum of Care presents an opportunity for AIDS housing advocates not already engaged in the process to participate in identifying needs, establishing priorities and generally assuring resources are dedicated to people with HIV/AIDS. See HUD’s Guide to Continuum of Care Planning and Implementation .


        10-Year plans to end homelessness

        As a result of the federal government’s 2001 goal to end chronic homelessness in ten years, plans have now been adopted by over 100 states and localities across the country (click here for more information). These state and local planning processes present a unique opportunity to identify and address housing for people living with HIV/AIDS as a powerful homelessness and HIV prevention intervention. For more information visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness’s page on 10-Year plans.


        Consolidated Plan (ConPlan) process for core HUD programs

        The Consolidated Plan (ConPlan) combines planning and application requirements for HUD’s four block grant programs, including Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). The ConPlan provides a key opportunity to influence deployment of federal resources at the local level for housing and housing-related services for people with HIV/AIDS. Click here for more information.

        Public housing
        authority (PHA)
        5-year plans

        Local housing authorities must adopt 5 year plans (with annual updates) that include statements of housing needs, financial resources, capital improvement needs, demolition and disposition plans and conversion plans. The housing authority is required to conduct “reasonable” outreach to encourage broad public participation and conduct a public hearing. Vocal and active participation by HIV/AIDS housing advocates in the PHA planning process holds the potential for more public housing and section 8 resource set-asides for people with HIV/AIDS. See the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998; P.L.105-276; Oct. 21, 1998; 24 CFR 903.

        Now Available

        • Special issue of AIDS & Behavior November 2007.  NAHC has partnered with leading researchers to commission and prepare a special supplement of prominent journal AIDS and Behavior.  This is the first peer-reviewed academic journal ever to focus solely on the connection between housing and HIV/AIDS.  Along with compelling new research, the supplement includes policy perspectives from NAHC and former HUD Secretary, Henry Cisneros.  Click here to learn more and purchase a copy.
        • HUD/CDC Housing & Health Study (H&H) – This is the first study of its kind to rigorously evaluate housing as a structural prevention & health care intervention for homeless/unstably housed PLWHA.
        • Chicago Housing for Health Project (CHHP) – findings released at Summit III in March 2008.  This large-scale demonstration project examines the impact of supportive housing for homeless persons with chronic health problems.


        Stay Connected

        • Join NAHC – Learn more about NAHC and the Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit Series and find out how to get involved in advocacy efforts.
        • Share your successes – to let NAHC know how you use research findings in advocacy, contact nahc@nationalaidshousing.org