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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley Supports Passage of HOPWA Formula Change

Feb 2, 2016
Press Release
Amendment increases HOPWA funding available for Chicago

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, supported the passage of the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program formula change through the Price-Aderholdt Amendment to the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015, H.R. 3700. This amendment will modernize the manner in which the funding for HOPWA is distributed throughout the country and result in increased HOPWA funding for Chicago.

“The security HOPWA provides to vulnerable families is a proven and effective tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Rep. Quigley. “Studies show individuals in stable housing have improved health, are less likely to transmit the virus, and are more likely to adhere to their medications and stay out of emergency rooms. But HOPWA’s outdated funding formula no longer reflects the current HIV epidemic and is leaving many Americans with HIV without the housing support they desperately need. It is time to change the HOPWA distribution formula from one based on cumulative HIV/AIDS cases to a formula based on current HIV/AIDS cases that reflect today’s needs.”

To see Rep. Quigley’s full remarks on the floor in support of the HOPWA formula change, click here.

Instead of basing HOPWA funding on an antiquated system using cumulative AIDS cases, which includes both people who are living and who have died of AIDS, the Price-Aderholdt Amendment requires that funding is distributed based on a number of factors, including the number of people living with HIV/AIDS cases, along with the poverty level and cost of housing in a jurisdiction.

HOPWA was created in the AIDS Housing Opportunities Act, a part of the Cranston-Gonzales National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, to provide housing assistance and related supportive services for low income people living with HIV/AIDS, and their families.  The program helps ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS can access and maintain adherence to necessary medical care and other services through assisting them with stable housing and support services.

Eligibility for HOPWA assistance is limited to low income individuals with HIV/AIDS, and their families. The vast majority of individuals receiving HOPWA housing assistance have extremely low income, income below 30 percent of the area median income (AMI). Sixty-five percent of people living with HIV/AIDS cite stable housing as a tremendous need, second only to health care. Preliminary data from 40 HOPWA grantees, reporting on client outcomes under a new performance measurement format, demonstrates that 94 percent of clients receiving rental assistance have stabilized their housing.

Rep. Quigley has been a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ community since his election to Congress in 2009. Specifically, he has fought for increased HOPWA funding through his role on the House Appropriations Committee since 2013. Reps. Quigley (IL-05), Adam Schiff (CA-28) and Barbara Lee (CA-13) passed an amendment to the annual Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee Appropriations Bill that increased funding for the HOPWA program by $3 million.

 

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