People with HIV and AIDS can face rising health care expenses as their ability to work declines. This puts them at a higher risk for becoming homeless. Unfortunately, homelessness -- and the resulting lack of adequate medical care -- threaten both family stability and the health of the affected person.
A 1996 study of people with AIDS found that 36 percent had been homeless since learning they had AIDS. A 1997 Los Angeles study found that two-thirds of people with AIDS had been homeless at some point in their lives.
The HOPWA program was authorized by the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act to address this type of issue. The purpose of the program is to provide states and communities with the resources and incentives to devise long-term comprehensive strategies for meeting the housing needs of low-income persons with HIV/AIDS and their families to prevent homelessness.
Kentucky Housing Corporation administers the HOPWA program for the state of Kentucky. Nonprofit agencies and local governments are encouraged to apply for HOPWA funding.
Housing information services (i.e., counseling, information and referral services to assist eligible individuals to locate, acquire, finance and maintain housing).
Acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease and repair of facilities to provide housing and services.
New construction of housing facilities for eligible persons.
Project- or tenant-based rental assistance.
Short-term rent, mortgage and utility payments to prevent homelessness.
Supportive services to eligible persons.
Operating costs of housing facilities for eligible persons.
To receive HOPWA assistance, clients must be 80 percent or below the area median income and have a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS.
HOPWA funds are allocated by KHC on a three-year cycle through a competitive process (see below).
For the purposes of service planning for persons with HIV/AIDS, Kentucky is divided into five Care Coordinator regions. These regions are defined through the HIV Care Coordinator Program within the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Each Care Coordinator region has a Care Consortia which is composed of local homeless service providers and client advocates.