Application Process Begins for Subsidized Housing for People with HIV/AIDS in San Diego County
A "steady trickle" of HIV-positive people on Monday went to clinics and agencies to obtain applications for Mercy Gardens in San Diego, a federally subsidized apartment complex for individuals with HIV/AIDS scheduled to open on the Scripps Mercy Hospital campus in January, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Monday was the first day applications were accepted, and "at least a couple hundred" people are expected to apply for the 22 available apartments by the Sept. 26 deadline. "The need far outstrips the availability," Peter Patch, a health services planner for San Diego County's Office of AIDS Coordination, said of the housing that will be offered to low-income people for 30% of their income. Orginally a convent for the Sisters of Mercy, the building and property were donated by Scripps Health and renovated with $3.8 million in city, county and federal funds. Federal funding will cover the complex's $160,000 annual operating budget, and Mercy Housing California, a regional not-for-profit housing corporation that runs 76 projects in 14 counties, will own and operate the facility. Mercy Housing developer Ben Phillips said that as new antiretroviral therapies allow HIV/AIDS patients to live longer, healthier lives, apartment complexes are "more in demand than hospices." He added, "We're really seeing a different need emerging" (Green, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.