Tenants, Advocates Protest for Permanent Dismissal of New York City HIV/AIDS Housing Rent Increase
Tenants and advocates on Tuesday protested outside New York Gov. George Pataki's (R) office to call for the dismissal of a state-ordered rent increase for HIV-positive people living in subsidized housing in New York City, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports (Peltz, AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/31). City officials last month said that people living in the housing would be charged more for rent after the state required that changes be made to the payment formula. The nearly 2,200 HIV-positive people living in the housing pay 30% of their income, which comes from federal assistance, for rent. The new formula is not based on a percentage. Instead, people in the housing would pay all but $330 of their monthly incomes, which for many is more than half of what they receive in federal assistance. The HIV/AIDS advocacy group Housing Works on the tenants' behalf filed a lawsuit challenging the increase, which was scheduled to take effect on Wednesday. Federal District Court Judge Frederic Block on Monday issued a preliminary injunction blocking the increase and told the state it has 45 days to make its case for the increase (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/31). "Though we have won a temporary victory, there is a long fight ahead," Gina Quattrochi -- who runs Bailey House, a not-for-profit group that rents government-subsidized apartments to HIV-positive people -- said. The advocates on Tuesday also marched in front of New York gubernatorial candidates' offices because Pataki is not running for re-election this year. According to the AP/Newsday, the staff of gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer (D) on Friday plan to talk with HIV/AIDS advocates about the rent increase. Gubernatorial candidate John Faso (R) had no comment, according to AP/Newsday (AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.