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San Francisco
group pushes for more AIDS housing funds

San Francisco
group pushes for more AIDS housing funds

HIV housing programs hit with federal funding cuts.

The AIDS Housing Alliance of San Francisco, which provides housing assistance to HIV-positive city residents, is urging the city and the state of California to help make up for cuts in federal housing grants it says will hurt San Francisco's HIV patients, reports the Bay Area Reporter. AHA recently organized a protest outside San Francisco's city hall against the cuts as well as a state law that allows landlords to exit the rental market; AHA says the law is being abused to evict HIV-positive people from their apartments.

Brian Basinger, director of AHA, says about one quarter of the evictions being made through the state law are occurring in the predominantly gay Castro neighborhood, which also is home to many HIV-positive residents. "Disabled people with HIV/AIDS depend on living in San Francisco to maintain access to medical care," Basinger told the Reporter. "It is also important for many to live in neighborhoods of origin, like the Castro, to retain access to social support networks and their sense of community."

A report prepared for the San Francisco board of supervisors shows that during the past three years "deep" rental subsidies for HIV-positive people have been cut by about 20% in San Francisco, while "shallow" federal grants through the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS program and the Ryan White CARE Act have been reduced by 31%.

AHA and other AIDS activists are calling on the San Francisco city government to help offset federal AIDS housing funding cuts to the region. They also are urging city officials to create a comprehensive AIDS housing plan for the city and to lobby lawmakers to repeal the law that allows landlords to exit the rental market and evict HIV-positive tenants from their buildings. (The Advocate)

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