Tampa, Fla., Officials Seek ‘Plan B’ to Provide HIV Housing Amid THAP Audit Concerns
Officials in Tampa, Fla., "fear" that a "long-overdue" audit of the not-for-profit Tampa-Hillsborough Action Plan, which provides housing for individuals with HIV/AIDS, may "uncover problems" that force the city to abandon THAP, and "want to know if other organizations" can provide the housing, the St. Petersburg Times reports (Geoffard, St. Petersburg Times, 10/26). The Tampa housing authority has shelved a contract that would provide THAP $522,000 in additional federal funds to expand housing for individuals with HIV/AIDS until officials receive the audit. THAP, which has received "millions" of dollars from the city housing authority for a number of proposals, has faced "harsh scrutiny" over the last several months over accusations that THAP Director Chet Luney performed and solicited "favors" for city housing chief Steve LaBrake and his top aide Lynne McCarter (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 10/24). On Thursday, Tampa City Council members asked the Tampa Department of Business and Community Services to report this week on alternatives to THAP and "how the city might oversee the contract with a new group." City Council Chair Charlie Miranda said, "We don't have a plan B." The council also asked city auditors to report "how quickly it might be able to conduct its own investigation" of THAP's HIV housing program. "We don't want to spend another nickel until we're confident of what the money's going to," council member Bob Buckhorn said, adding, "THAP is such a multi-headed hydra. It's possible other providers can pick up the slack if THAP is found not to be in compliance." THAP houses 48 residents in an HIV housing program in Sulphur Springs (St. Petersburg Times, 10/26). The group receives $450,000 from the city through the federal Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS initiative to fund the program (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 10/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.