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Thursday, June 14, 2012

NY Senate Republicans Turn Their Backs On Homeless People With AIDS


God Bless America
PR: NY Senate Republicans Turn Their Backs On Homeless People With AIDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 14, 2012

Contact: Jim Lister, 760-522-0458 | Jaron Benjamin, (718) 864-3932
New York Senate Republicans Turn Their Backs On Homeless People With AIDS; Cowards Turn Against Affordable Housing Bill After Voting For It Twice
Hundreds of Homeless People Living With HIV/AIDS & Thousands More on the Brink Denied Affordable Housing Through Discriminatory Policy

New York, NY – Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and the Senate Republican Conference defeated a bill (S.4098) to prevent homelessness among people living with HIV/AIDS and their families this afternoon that the conference had previously supported in large margins in 2009 and 2010. The legislation would ensure that low-income people living with HIV/AIDS who qualify for rental assistance pay no more than 30 percent of their income towards their rent, the standard for affordable housing in every other low-income housing program in the state.

“Taking leadership lessons from former Governor David Paterson, these turncoats have shown their word is worth nothing and they happily renege on their commitment to affordable housing for homeless New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS,” said Jim Lister, a VOCAL-NY member and longtime survivor of HIV/AIDS who pays 74% of his disability income towards rent. “This bill would have paid for itself by reducing costly shelter stays and unnecessary medical expenses. But more importantly, it would have saved lives. I take 21 pills every day to stay healthy. I can’t survive losing my home, but that’s what Senate Republicans are forcing me into.”

After deciding as a conference to flip their votes against the bill, Senate Republicans took a gratuitous swipe at openly HIV-positive Senator Thomas K. Duane, who is retiring at the end of this year, and deny his request to withdraw the bill for consideration before it was defeated.

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VOCAL-NY is a grassroots organization building power among low-income New Yorkers affected by HIV/AIDS, mass incarceration and the war on drugs in order to create healthy and just communities.

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