This fall, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development began pilot testing a housing program for low-income people living with HIV in San Francisco. The new system allows eligible folks to sign up to be considered for either permanent housing rental subsidies or housing units.
The new program is called PLUS Housing, and it replaces the HIV Housing Referral list (which was closed due to over-enrollment in the early 2000s).
One goal, said Bobby Fisher, housing and benefits manager at San Francisco AIDS Foundation, is for the program to stabilize people who are in danger of losing their housing—especially people who may live in rent controlled units.
“We suspect that there are people out there that have affordable rent in this market but it’s not affordable for them because of their fixed income. We’re hoping to get those people to sign up,” said Fisher. “If someone in a rent controlled unit loses that unit, that unit goes back up to market rate and it’s gone forever.”
The program will also provide housing for people experiencing homelessness, although the program is not designed to help people currently in a crisis situation. Fisher said that people who are homeless and living with HIV should absolutely sign up for PLUS Housing, but also seek help from the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.
The PLUS Housing program creates efficiencies and is more responsive to clients’ needs, said Fisher. Instead of acting strictly as a wait list, with people tiered based on when they sign up, the list will prioritize the highest-needs clients including people discharged from residential care facilities, those who have the highest rent burden, and more.
“Housing is health care—and stable housing is key to improving the health outcomes of San Franciscans living with HIV,” said Fisher.
Who is eligible for the PLUS Housing program?
To qualify for the PLUS Housing program, you must:
- Currently live in San Francisco;
- Be living with HIV (you do not need to be diagnosed with AIDS or have a disabling AIDS diagnosis);
- Have an annual household income that is less than 50% of the area median income ($40,350 for a 1-person household, and $46,150 for a 2-person household); and,
- Spend 50% of your income or more on rent, or be homeless, be living in transitional housing, or be receiving a partial housing subsidy that does not cover your entire rent.
How to apply for the PLUS Housing program
Fill out this form online: https://housing.sfgov.org/mohcd-plus-housing.
If you don’t have easy access to a computer or internet, you can fill out the online form at San Francisco AIDS Foundation (1035 Market Street, Suite 400). Go to the services lobby (4th floor) any time Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm to access a computer (the online form is bookmarked on all computers in the lobby for easy access).
After you apply online, you’ll get an immediate confirmation by email (if you provide an email address).
Who to contact with questions
Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email to find out approximately where you are on the list.
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