View Header


Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release December 1, 1998
                   FOR OVER 65,000 PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore commemorated World AIDS Day today by announcing that the federal government will provide $220 million in grants for housing and support services for over 65,000 low-income people with HIV/AIDS and members of their households.

The Vice President announced the new funds, which the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) will distribute under its Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, at a meeting with people who receive and provide these critical housing and support services in Washington DC.

"For too many Americans living with AIDS, poverty is nearly as much of a threat as the disease itself," Vice President Gore said. "Without our help, many would be forced to live in unfit housing or become homeless. These grants will mean that people fighting AIDS won't have to also fight to keep a roof over their heads."

HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo added, "We all know about the terrible toll of illness and death caused by the AIDS virus. On top of this, AIDS often destroys the financial health of those with the disease as well, hitting them with huge medical bills and leaving them too sick to work."

Today, the Vice President:

Unveiled new HOPWA grants that provide critical support to communities in need. Studies show that people with HIV/AIDS are at increased risk for homelessness and have more problems obtaining access to affordable housing. This $220 million in HOPWA funding, a 10 percent increase over last year, provides critical housing and other support services that:

     Help people with HIV/AIDS remain in their homes by providing 
     rental assistance and supportive services such as meals, 
     transportation, and counseling; and

     Provide housing to people with HIV/AIDS and their families 
     facing homelessness.  By providing housing and other critical 
     support services, this program helps keep families intact, 
     and assures that individuals with HIV/AIDS have the support 
     they need.  Most people that HOPWA serves have incomes of 
     under $1,000 a month.

Of the $220 million, $200 million will go to states, cities, and communities to develop effective programs. The remaining $20 million will go to programs nationwide that have developed particularly effective and innovative approaches to providing housing and other necessary support services for people with HIV/AIDS. For example, an innovative program in Savannah, GA enables people with HIV/AIDS to receive home-based care, and one in Illinois provides innovative services, including effective mental health services and daily living services.

Highlighted Clinton/Gore Administration's ongoing progress in fighting HIV/AIDS. The Vice President underscored other Administration efforts to improve prevention, treatment, and research for people with HIV/AIDS. He noted that the President is unveiling historic new steps today to help the up to 40 million children who will be orphaned by HIV/AIDS by 2010, including new emergency funding from USAID to support international, community-based AIDS orphan programs and historic new increases in AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) dedicated to help address the global problem of HIV/AIDS.

These steps build on the historic progress to combat HIV/AIDS for which the Administration fought in this year's balanced budget, including: a new $156 million initiative to address the severe, ongoing health care crisis of HIV/AIDS in racial and ethnic minorities, including crisis response teams and enhanced prevention efforts across the nation; a $262 million increase in the Ryan White CARE Act; a 12 percent increase in AIDS research funding at the NIH, a $32 million increase HIV prevention programs at the CDC; and a $21 million increase in HOPWA.