May 23, 2011

Integration of Housing and Care — A NHAS Step Forward

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At HUD, new emphasis is being made to better appreciate that housing is a platform for improved health.  On May 23, 2011 the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the availability of $9.1 million in HOPWA funding under a 2011 new projects competition. This competition is seeking to support new local HIV and housing partnerships to help achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  It will also demonstrate models that promote housing as a platform for improving health outcomes for persons living with HIV/AIDS.  HOPWA housing resources will be used in a manner that is clearly linked with other Federal resources for medical care and related social service needs.   The partnerships will also lead to greater knowledge in how to take holistic approaches to serving some of the nation’s most vulnerable, persons living with chronic health challenges and risks of homelessness.

Under the new HOPWA funds made available, the selected projects will carry out activities to increase coordination and collaboration through a cross program perspective of housing and other health and human services.  The new approaches may also better engage local Public Housing Authorities and other housing partners in collaborating in area HIV service delivery.  The competition is expected to result in awards for six to eight models of place-based comprehensive strategies for meeting the housing needs of low-income persons with HIV/AIDS.

This effort is also planned as an on-going engagement.  HOPWA support will be provided over three years to help develop more integrative planning, local coordination of services and foster new cross agency approaches.  Further, the results of these efforts will be evaluated and published in an Integrated HIV/AIDS Housing Plan (IHHP) which will become an online resource for other communities across the country.   Importantly, the development of an IHHP is envisioned as a sustained approach.  This enhanced planning in housing service delivery will be undertaken along with related implementation of changes under the Affordable Care Act that will enhance access to health care for persons with HIV.

The IHHP is a unique tool for communities to conduct comprehensive planning.  It will help build understanding and practical knowledge on how communities can integrate the delivery of housing along with medical and other supportive services in wider local planning efforts. The IHHP will help provide a baseline for understanding current housing related needs across HIV programs.  It will help link delivery of HOPWA and related housing and service resources needed to achieve the NHAS target of increasing the number of Ryan White clients with permanent housing.

Applications can be submitted on the site by August 2, 2011.  HUD expects to announce grant selections by September 20, 2011.

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