“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for correcting an historic wrong and funding the 30%-of-income rent contribution cap for the HIV/AIDS Rental Assistance Program in his budget announced today, fulfilling a major campaign promise to the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities.
This is a tremendous victory for more than 10,000 vulnerable New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS who were excluded from a standard that applies to other every other federal and New York State low-income housing program. No longer will these individuals have to choose between paying for rent or other basic essentials, such as utilities, transportation, clothing, and unreimbursed medical expenses.
Mayor de Blasio’s decision is not only fair and equitable but is also smart, cost-effective public health policy. Studies have shown that extending the rent cap will pay for itself by preventing unnecessary costs associated with homelessness and yield significant Medicaid savings.
I’ll continue to work with Governor Cuomo, who has a long record of leadership on housing issues, Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, with whom I carry legislation that would accomplish this same goal, and my other government colleagues to ensure the rent cap is included in the State’s final enacted budget.
I also wish to acknowledge the hard work of VOCAL-NY and other advocates who kept this issue at the forefront of budget negotiations and my predecessor in the State Senate, Tom Duane, who fought for the original rent cap legislation.”