Audit: New York City fails to provide adequate housing for people with HIV/AIDS
An audit by New York City's comptroller released last week indicates that the city is failing to meet its legal obligation to provide adequate housing for low-income residents with HIV/AIDS, Newsday reports. The audit says that about 30,000 New York residents with HIV/AIDS live in "inadequate" housing and that many find themselves stranded in homeless shelters for months, while applications for more permanent housing go unprocessed. Part of the problem, according to the audit, is that the city's HIV case managers and supervisors often do not track housing applications. According to the audit, only 10 of 142 housing applications filed by 104 different clients from July 2001 to August 2002 received any follow-up by case managers. "People are looking to the city for help and instead are facing delays and roadblocks," comptroller William Thompson told Newsday. "This needs to stop." AIDS activists said the audit confirmed their suspicions that housing services were inadequate, and it led to new worries that the health of low-income HIV-positive people could worsen while attempting to secure housing. "The gravity of the situation is accentuated when you consider these are people with AIDS," Armen Merjian, senior staff attorney for the nonprofit advocacy group Housing Works, told Newsday. "We know for a fact that stable housing is critical to fighting the illness."