NHAHC Response to President’s Proposed FY24 Budget
March 15, 2023
President Biden’s budget request, released last week, proposes the HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons Living with AIDS) program be funded at $505 million for fiscal year 2024. While this amount is a $6M increase to enacted FY23 levels, due to inflation, it essentially cuts the HOPWA program– the only dedicated source of housing funds for people living with HIV/AIDS.
“We are baffled by the administration’s neglect of the HOPWA program when housing is the number one unmet need of people living with HIV across the nation.,” said Lauren Banks, Executive Director of the National HIV/AIDS Housing Coalition. “Supportive housing is at the center of care for people living with HIV/AIDS. HOPWA provides housing and wrap-around supports that low-income people living with HIV/AIDS need. This budget dismisses that need.”
In the last completed fiscal year, HOPWA served 50,605 households with direct housing support. This budget is only able to propose serving 48,000 households. The Biden administration cannot call themselves champions for HIV/AIDS when they are effectively calling for 2,605 persons living with HIV to lose their housing.
Further, the CDC found that HOPWA is so underfunded that it can only provide 1.24 months of rent for PLWHA who are in need of housing per person, per year. Further, despite all HUD funding, 2 out of 5 PLWHA who are in need of housing assistance do not receive it. This must change.
The National HIV/AIDS Housing Coalition calls on the Biden Administration and Congress to work with housing advocates to implement a real strategy to ending the HIV epidemic in America and to fund HOPWA at least at $600M for FY24.
For more information, please contact Lauren Banks, Executive Director, at Lauren@NHAHC.org.