HOPWA, the federal AIDS housing program, turns 30


The following post on HIV.gov is written by Rita Harcrow, Director of the Office of Housing for HIV/AIDS, US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Dear HOPWA Fellows, Project Sponsors and Friends,

On October 28, 2022, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program. The HOPWA program received its first direct appropriations on October 28, 1992, which provided formula funding to 38 jurisdictions, including 11 states, Puerto Rico, and 27 cities on behalf of metropolitan statistical areas. The HOPWA program has grown from the first allocation of $150 million to the $450 million allocation for fiscal year 2022. The portfolio of grants currently receiving HOPWA funding has also grown to 143 formula jurisdictions, 82 competitive grants permanent supportive housing (PSH), 20 competitive Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) grants, and over 1,000 project sponsors. Much has changed in 30 years, but the impact and importance of the HOPWA program remains.

Thirty years ago, the HOPWA program was established to provide communities with resources and incentives to design long-term strategies to develop a range of housing assistance and support services for low-income people living with HIV and their families to overcome key barriers to stable housing. such as affordability and discrimination. The HOPWA program was created before there were the life-saving HIV drugs we have today, so at the time it was envisioned as a program to provide people with AIDS with a place to die in dignity. Today, with advances in HIV care and treatment, the goal of the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing (OHH) and the HOPWA program is to elevate and use housing as an intervention effective structure to end the HIV epidemic.

We have come a long way in 30 years. Collectively, we now have the tools to end the HIV epidemic while working to find a vaccine and a cure. OHH is proud to work alongside our partners at HUD and across the federal government to implement actions in the Federal Plan for the Implementation of the National Strategy to Combat HIV/AIDS (PDF, 707 KB) (NHAS). The federal implementation plan introduced five NHAS progress indicators focused on the quality of life of people living with HIV, including an updated housing indicator that aims to reduce the proportion of people living with HIV by 50%. with HIV who are homeless or precariously housed. HOPWA grantees and project sponsors use housing as a platform to connect low-income people living with HIV and their families to the services needed for good health outcomes and quality of life, including medical care, mental health care and support services such as transportation, nutrition and employment. programs.

We see the hard work done by HOPWA grantees and project sponsors to provide housing and services to low-income people living with HIV and their families as a direct contribution to ending the HIV epidemic. It is important work. To support HOPWA providers, OHH has launched the Reset, renew, recharge (3R) which is an overarching strategy designed to advance the HOPWA program in new ways as part of HOPWA’s 30th anniversary. This strategy is a forward-looking blueprint to advance program design and core values ​​that will positively impact the lives and housing stability of people living with HIV. Reset, renew, recharge aims to help communities achieve program excellence and positive community impact, ensure programs are designed to meet the changing needs of the modern HIV epidemic, promote equity for all people living with HIV and to highlight the importance of client-centred housing and low-barrier housing and service delivery.

Our goal for the 3R initiative is for HOPWA project grantees and sponsors to take a broad view of the HOPWA program, understand and effectively implement program requirements, design local HOPWA programs to meet community needs, provide of HOPWA housing and services in an equitable manner. fashion and use data to tell the story of HOPWA’s impact on lives. We will work closely with Technical Assistance (TA) providers to make new resources and materials available to support this initiative. Learn more about the 3R initiative

More big announcements are coming. We are preparing to release a proposed rule to update the HOPWA regulations in the spring of 2023. The new rule will incorporate the provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA), Public Law 114-201, and better define eligible activities and program requirements. We are also preparing another HOPWA institute in the summer of 2023.

While we have a lot to look forward to, we also want to look back at the actions and moments that brought us here. Below are some highlights. A complete timeline of the 30 years of the HOPWA program is available.

  • 1994: Creation of the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing which administers the HOPWA program. The office’s mission is to ensure that each of HUD’s programs and initiatives meets the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. The primary function of the office is to take all possible steps to ensure that departmental programs and policies support the housing and specialized service needs of people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
  • 2003 – April 25: HUD released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) to solicit applications for federal collaboration with the CDC to study the link between housing and HIV. The study was the first of its kind to link housing to positive health outcomes for people living with HIV and established the HOPWA program as an evidence-based, cost-effective platform for improving health outcomes for people living with HIV. HIV/AIDS and their families.
  • 2016 – July 29: Title VII of the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act (HOTMA), Public Law 114-201, amended Section 854(c) of the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act (42 USC 12903(c)) to modernize the HOPWA allocation formula and address other administrative provisions, and Section 853 (42 USC 12902 ) to add some program definitions. The modernization of the HOPWA formula included changing the data used for eligibility and allocations from “cumulative AIDS cases” to “living with HIV” starting with the 2017 allocation year.
  • 2022- August 26: The Federal Plan for the Implementation of the National Strategy to Combat HIV/AIDS (PDF, 707 KB) has been published and HUD is committed to taking a number of actions to support the four objectives identified in the Strategy (PDF, 432 KB).

Throughout the year, we will also be highlighting HOPWA programs and the important work they do. We will send HOPWA Supplier Spotlight via our mailing list and make them available online.

As we recognize and celebrate 30 years of HOPWA, we also want to thank all HUD staff, federal partners, HOPWA grantees and project sponsors, technical assistance providers, housing advocates for HIV and all other people who have contributed to the success of the HOPWA program. it’s today. Thank you for your work and contributions to support the HOPWA program over the years. Thank you for working to meet the housing and support needs of low-income people living with HIV and their families. Thank you for pushing for housing to be recognized as a structural intervention to end the HIV epidemic. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the HOPWA program, we also celebrate you and all you have done for the HOPWA program. Thanks.

Rita Harcrow (her)
Director, HIV/AIDS Housing Office

This announcement originally appeared on November 10, 2022 on HIV.gov.

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