FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Krishna Stone | 212.367.1016
Albany, New York — The New York State Assembly passed legislation today that is vital to the health of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. The bill, A02565, would cap monthly rent payments for New York City HIV/ AIDS Services Administration (HASA) clients at 30% of their monthly income. Currently, people living with AIDS who receive benefits from HASA, and also have other forms of income such as SSI, SSDI, veteran's benefits or work, are forced to pay all but $344 of their monthly income towards their rent. This leaves clients with an unlivable budget of $11.46 a day.
"GMHC commends the New York State Assembly for passing this critically important bill," said Sean Cahill, PhD, Managing Director of Public Policy, Research and Community Health at GMHC. "The rent cap bill is very important to HIV-positive New Yorkers because it will help them maintain stable housing. It also serves as a public health intervention as stable housing makes it easier for people to maintain HIV treatment adherence and stay healthy."
"We also commend Assembly Member Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan), lead sponsor of the bill, for her leadership," added Cahill. "She, along with Speaker Silver and Assembly Members Wright and Farrell, moved this through three committees and it was passed by the full body 82-54 all in the same day."
The rent cap bill (S.2664), sponsored by Senator Tom Duane (D-Manhattan), passed by 52-1 on July 19, 2009, following an impassioned and eloquent speech by Senator Duane in the early hours of the morning. Because the State Legislature entered a new session as of January 11, 2010, the Senate must now pass the legislation again before it goes before Governor Patterson to be signed into law.
GMHC Action Center leader Jim Lister said, "Right now, I am constantly making difficult decisions about everyday living necessities because I am forced to live on $11.46 daily." If the Senate passes the bill and Governor Patterson signs it, "I can finally restore my dignity," Lister added.
For more background on these three bills, read GMHC's 2009 State Policy Agenda.
GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all.