May 18, 2005
NYCWatch: GOOD THINGS COME IN THREES
Last month, virtually a year to the day since the death of Housing Works cofounder Keith Cylar, the City Council passed an act in his name requiring the city's HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) to deliver detailed quarterly reports on its success in providing timely case management and medically appropriate housing to more than 41,000 HASA clients and their families. (See Keeping HASA Honest in our 4/19 issue). Last Wednesday, May 11, the City Council followed up by passing two more bills that work with the Cylar Act.
The first, the HASA Housing Application Act (Intro. 535), requires HASA to provide every homeless client in need with an application for permanent housing, and with a referral to viable, medically-appropriate apartments, within 90 days of a completed application. The second, the HASA Tracking Act (Intro. 543), creates a centralized housing referral and placement system. With the other bills, it will help HASA keep track of clients in its emergency housing system—and meet its goal of moving such clients into medically appropriate permanent housing as fast as possible.
"Finally, the city has created a process for moving homeless people living with AIDS, struggling to survive the horrible conditions in the emergency housing system, into the permanent housing that our tax dollars are used to build," Amos Hough, a board member of the New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN) and a former resident of one of the single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels that the uses for emergency housing, told The New York Blade. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to sign both bills into law shortly.
AIDS Issues Update thanks everyone who supported the bills—especially the Housing Works clients and staff who packed the City Council meeting last Wednesday to witness the passage of these historic bills.