Senator Duane Praises Governor Spitzer, Commissioner Hansell For Preserving Affordable Housing For NYC HIV/AIDS Services Administrationfs Most Vulnerable Clients

Albany, Tuesday, February 27, 2007

State Senator Thomas K. Duane (D, WFP|Manhattan), today applauded the Spitzer Administrationfs decision not to force some of New York Cityfs poorest people with HIV/AIDS to pay more than half their income for rent.

The decision, announced today by New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Commissioner David Hansell, represents a reversal of what Duane called a heartless and short-sighted edict made by OTDA in the waning days of the Pataki Administration.

Under the Pataki Administrationfs policy, which was only stopped from taking effect by a temporary injunction won in Federal court last fall by AIDS advocacy organization Housing Works, OTDA would have required New York City HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) clients with income other than Public Assistance who live in supportive housing to retain only $330 a month for food, transportation and other items, with all other income going to rent.

Senator Duane and Assemblymember Deborah Glick introduced legislation (S2890/A5473) earlier this month that would cap at 30% of household income the amount that HASA clients living in supportive housing could pay towards shelter costs. That legislation, while still important, is no longer urgent in light of this executive action by the Spitzer administration.

Duane continued, gI applaud Governor Spitzer and Commissioner Hansell for their compassion and for recognizing that health benefits associated with having stable, affordable housing far outweigh the relatively meager savings that the State would have realized if this policy had been put into effect.h

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