BOSTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $3,796,621 to three local HIV-AIDS housing programs in Maine to help extremely low-income persons and families living with HIV/AIDS. These grants provide a combination of housing assistance and supportive services for this vulnerable population. (See below for local grantee information)
In addition to housing assistance, these local programs will provide access to the needed supportive services such as case management, mental health, substance abuse and employment training. The combination of housing assistance and supportive services are critical in sustaining housing stability, promoting better health outcomes, and increasing quality of life, which promotes self-sufficiency efforts for those able to transition to the private housing market.
“Housing and health go hand in hand,” said Secretary Juliàn Castro. “These grants will provide our local partners with a critical resource to support low-income individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. Having a stable place to live can make all the difference and we’re proud to work with communities to help our fellow Americans in building productive and prosperous futures.”
“These grants offer housing, vital healthcare and hope to Maine households that combine to literally save lives,” said HUD Maine Field Office Director William Burney.
The funding announced today is offered through HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) and will renew HUD’s support of 25 local programs in 16 states. Research shows that housing status is a social determinant of health and the provision of HOPWA supportive housing demonstrates that housing stability results in better health outcomes and reduced HIV viral transmission.
The grants announced today also support Opening Doors, the Obama Administration’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, and National HIV AIDS Strategy/ HIV Care Continuum, which identifies housing as a key component to reducing viral transmission. Housing assistance and related services funded by HOPWA are an essential part of the comprehensive system of care for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. A stable home environment is vital for these households to access consistent medical care and maintain their health. Furthermore, secure housing can be a platform for improved quality of life.
The HOPWA program is both a formula-based and a competitive grant program. Ninety percent of HOPWA funds are distributed by formula to cities and states based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HUD’s formula grants are managed by 137 local and state jurisdictions, which coordinate AIDS housing efforts with other HUD and community resources. Overall, these resources assist more than 52,000 households annually to provide stable housing and reduced risks of homelessness for those living with HIV and other challenges. Ten percent of HOPWA funds are set aside to fund competitively awarded grants.
The Frannie Peabody Center, a community-based organization in Portland, is awarded a HOPWA permanent supportive housing renewal grant of $1,054,799 to continue its HAVEN Initiative. This project, serving the City of Portland and Cumberland County, provides permanent supportive housing for persons living with HIV who have other complex needs, including persons with histories of homelessness and incarceration, and persons with mental health and substance abuse disorders. The HAVEN Initiative provides tenant-based rental assistance to 38 households annually, along with short-term rent and utility assistance to at least 25 households. Additionally, the project will provide permanent housing placement services to 15 households and supportive services to 95 households each year. For information contact: Megan Hannan, Executive Director, (207) 619-8011 or [email protected]
The Frannie Peabody Center is awarded a HOPWA permanent supportive housing renewal grant of $1,432,653 to continue its HAVEN’s Outreach to Racial and Ethnic MinoritiesInitiative. This program based in the City of Portland provides tenant-based rental assistance to 42 households annually, many of whom are immigrants and/or refugees living with HIV/AIDS. This city is a designated refugee resettlement community and is home to people from over 30 ethnic backgrounds who speak over 40 different languages. Supportive services, including case management support that links clients to mainstream benefits and health care resources, will be provided to at least 110 households annually. These services will address the cultural, language and economic barriers that pose obstacles to this vulnerable population in accessing housing, HIV care and services.
The Frannie Peabody Center is awarded a statewide HOPWA permanent supportive housing renewal grant of $1,309,169 to continue its Outreach to Rural Maine Initiative. The program provides tenant-based rental assistance to 60 households, and short-term rent and utility assistance to at least 30 households annually. In addition, permanent housing placement services will be provided to 11 households annually. This project includes collaborations with the Maine Medical Center, Positive Health Care Facility, and the Eastern Maine AIDS Network. A combination of supportive services will be provided through the mainstream community resources to compliment housing support. This support involves access to HIV/AIDS case management, volunteer assistance, life skills education training, and medical care.