San Franciscans living with HIV identify affordable housing as their greatest unmet need. Across the United States, studies with homeless and marginally housed persons show links between unstable housing and HIV infection, delayed treatment, poorer adherence to antiretroviral therapy, lower CD4 cell count and other indicators of advanced HIV disease, and greater mortality due to HIV/AIDS related illnesses. San Francisco AIDS Foundation leads national efforts to promote evidence-based policy to remove this structural barrier to HIV prevention and care.
Still, insufficient funding forces too many HIV-positive Americans to rely on federal programs like Shelter Plus Care and Section 8 housing assistance vouchers. San Francisco AIDS Foundation leads federal advocacy efforts to increase funding to the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program and to more accurately reflect housing expenses in urban, high-cost areas like San Francisco. The foundation also works closely with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, the largest provider of affordable housing in San Francisco and the administrator of the HOPWA rental assistance program for San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties.
We are proud to be on the board of the National AIDS Housing Coalition. Our Director of Legislative Affairs, Ernest Hopkins is co-chair of the Advocacy Committee of NAHC, which focuses on policy initiatives benefiting persons living with HIV. You can become a member of NAHC either as an individual or as an organization, and stay up to date with national developments.
In addition, the foundation employs data generated by the National AIDS Housing Coalition’s international research summits to advocate for additional HIV housing resources at the local, state and federal levels, and to inform international awareness campaigns.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation is also a key local housing service provider, coordinating housing for hundreds of people with HIV in San Francisco. The foundation’s local advocacy with the board of supervisors for increased housing resources and our partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health are essential to the development and maintenance of affordable housing for people living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco.
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