A Message from the National AIDS Housing Coalition

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm

The Devastating Impacts of Sequestration on Housing Programs

Washington, DC

February 14, 2013

Dear Friends of NAHC,

A Senate Appropriations committee hearing this morning provided more detail about the devastating impacts of sequestration to our nation’s economy and the most vulnerable members of our society.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan announced that the impacts of sequestration on the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be far reaching.. The HOPWA program would no longer be able to assist 7,300 households and an additional 125,000 households would lose assistance through the housing voucher program. Half of these households are elderly or disabled and likely include many low income people with HIV/AIDS. Further, an estimated 100,000 formerly homeless persons who had received housing and rental assistance through the HEARTH Act may once again risk homelessness should sequestration go into effect.

Please click here to read the full testimony of Secretary Donovan and the other witnesses.

Sequestration, which imposes indiscriminate , across-the-board cuts, is irresponsible and reckless policy. As Secretary Donovan also pointed out in the hearing , “when families are not housed, they actually cost us more.” Housing people means less costly emergency room visits, lowered risk contracting and spreading of HIV/AIDS as well as reduced risk-taking behaviors such as drug-use and unprotected sex. Cutting funding to vital services such as HOPWA and Section 8 would eliminate important protections for the most vulnerable HIV+ people as well as those at risk.

TheNationalAIDS Housing Coalition joins with 3,000 other organizations in urging Congress to reach an agreement on a balanced approach to reduce the federal deficit that includes revenues and does not further cut critical discretionary programs which have already taken deep cuts in funding levels.

The window of opportunity is short for you to tell your Senators and Representatives about the impact of sequestration on your community and the PLWHAs you serve. Please call their offices today through the U.S. Capitol switchboard (202)225-3121. Once connected , ask to speak to the staffer responsible for housing issues. Ask the staffer to convey to his or her boss the urgency of avoiding the March 1 sequester for your community and people you serve. Please let NAHC know the results of your contact via nahc@nationalaidshousing.org.

Thanks for all that you do,

The National AIDS Housing Coalition