HUD No. 03-025
March 13, 2003
HUD ANNOUNCES $500,000 TO ASSIST PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
IN SARASOTA AND MANATEE COUNTIES
SARASOTA, FL - Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Roy A. Bernardi today announced the City of Sarasota will receive $500,000 in direct funding from HUD to provide housing assistance and supportive services to persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Bernardi made the announcement, along with Sarasota Mayor Carolyn J. Mason, after completing a tour of the Comprehensive Care Clinic, a HUD-assisted health clinic in Sarasota.
Beginning this year, Sarasota will receive direct funding from HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program - funding that will be targeted throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. In previous years, the Sarasota area received HOPWA funding through the State of Florida. The funding announced today represents twenty-three percent, or $96,000, increase over what the City received from the State of Florida last year. Other smaller and rural Florida communities will also benefit from an additional $260,000 to be allocated under the State of Florida's grant.
"Today we begin a new era when local leaders have more resources and greater flexibility to help meet the housing and service needs of some of our most vulnerable neighbors in the Sarasota area," said Bernardi. "The Bush Administration is committed to helping these families not only find a home but receive the services they need to maintain their quality of life."
"This critical assistance provides yet another example of the Bush Administration's deep commitment to fighting the scourge of AIDS, particularly among low-income Americans," Rep. Katherine Harris said. "I will continue to work closely with Secretary Martinez and Assistant Secretary Bernardi as they mobilize the armies of compassion in Southwest Florida."
Housing assistance and the support services funded by the HOPWA program are a vital part of caring for those living with HIV/AIDS. A stable home environment is critically important for low-income persons with complex drug therapies and potential side effects from their treatments. Bernardi and Mason toured the Comprehensive Care Clinic that provides hundreds of families a year with rental and mortgage assistance, health care, education and other supportive services needed to help maintain this stable home environment.
Ninety percent of HOPWA funds are distributed by formula to cities and states based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding announced today is part of $290 million in HOPWA funding to be awarded nationwide, representing a more than nine percent over last year. In addition, President Bush's proposed fiscal year 2004 budget requests $297 million for the HOPWA program.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.