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HIV AIDS Rent Cap Urged in NYC


The New York City council passed a resolution unanimously on Wednesday in support of a bill in the state legislature that would cap the percentage of income that low-income people living with HIV/AIDS must contribute to rent.

The bill, introduced by openly gay senator Tom Duane and lesbian assemblywoman Deborah Glick, would mandate that clients of the city's HIV/AIDS Services Administration pay no more than 30% of their income on rent.

The affordable housing measure passed the senate in July, with an emotional floor speech from Duane, but it remains stuck in the assembly's ways and means committee. Support from assembly speaker Sheldon Silver and Gov. David Paterson would help the bill advance.

The HIV/AIDS rental assistance program is the state's only disability housing program that does not cap clients' rent contributions at 30%, requiring tenants to pay all but $344 of their income on rent each month. Supporters of the affordable housing bill say that it could produce a savings of $12 million in emergency shelter costs.

Prior to passing the resolution, council members and advocates led by council speaker Christine Quinn rallied on the steps of City Hall. Watch the video.

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