HRSA Announces New Policy Action to Improve Access to Housing for People With HIV

New Guidance Will—For the First Time—Enable Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Recipients to Use Funds for Housing Security Deposits for Eligible Patients

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced new policy action to facilitate access to housing for people with HIV served by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients. The new guidance enables—for the first time—the use of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds to cover housing security deposits for eligible clients. This guidance advances critical elements of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (PDF – 1 MB) announced by President Biden and the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. Initiative and addresses a key barrier that has been raised by patients and advocates.

HRSA Deputy Administrator Jordan Grossman announced this guidance during the Advancing Housing, Health, and Social Care Partnerships Conference, which is bringing together federal agencies, states, and housing and services organizations across the country participating in the HRSA-supported Health and Housing Initiative, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness ALL INside Initiative, and the HHS and HUD-supported Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator.

“We know that lack of access to stable housing impacts health outcomes for individuals living with HIV,” said Carole Johnson, HRSA Administrator. “This new action will help individuals with HIV by addressing one of the barriers to remaining engaged in care. We look forward to this action helping to facilitate more housing opportunities which will support better health outcomes.”

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides care and treatment services to more than 560,000 low-income people with HIV, with a strong focus on tailoring approaches to best meet the needs of high-need communities and addressing factors like access to housing and transportation that directly affect clients’ ability to enter and stay in care. In 2022, 77.9% of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients with unstable housing who received medical care reached viral suppression—meaning they cannot sexually transmit HIV to other people and can live a long, healthy life—compared to 90.6% of those with stable housing.

Current program guidelines have been viewed as an obstacle to assisting clients with security deposits. The guidance issued today explains how recipient can use Ryan White Program funds for security deposits for their clients provided that they ensure the deposits are returned to the program, not the client, at the end of the lease.

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, developed by the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) in collaboration with federal partners and with input from the HIV community across the country, outlines a vision for ending the HIV epidemic in the United States through goals, objectives, and strategies to prevent new infections, treat people with HIV to improve health outcomes, reduce HIV-related disparities, and better integrate and coordinate the efforts of all partners.

The Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative builds upon the foundational efforts of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to reach people newly diagnosed with HIV and those who are disconnected from care by enhancing linkage to and engagement in care, decreasing disparities, and improving viral suppression.

HRSA thanks the HIV community for its invaluable contributions in advancing health outcomes for individuals at risk of or experiencing housing instability and homelessness and for sharing insights which have been instrumental in shaping this new guidance.

To access the Security Deposit guidance, please see the Housing Security Deposits in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program letter (PDF – 81 KB).

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