Historically, HOPWA formula allocations were determined by the number of AIDS cases reported and confirmed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and by population data provided by the U.S. Census. 75% of funds allocated under the formula is distributed to qualifying cities and eligible states, based on each eligible metropolitan statistical area’s (EMSA) share of the cumulative number of AIDS cases in all EMSAs. 25% of funds is allocated among qualifying cities where the per capita incidence of AIDS for the year is higher than average for all metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 500,000.
With the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, signed into Public Law 114-201 in July 2016, the calculation of the formula allocations have changed. The factors that determine allocations are:
- The HOPWA formula will now be based on “living with HIV’ data instead of “cumulative AIDS” data.
- The requirement that 25% of funds be distributed to cities based on AIDS incidence is removed, and replaced with a new requirement that 25% of funds be distributed based on local Fair Market Rents and poverty rates.
- The modernization formula will be phased in over five years with a stop-loss provision, to avoid highly volatile shifts in either direction for any jurisdiction.
The Office of HIV/AIDS Housing (OHH) has established a set of values to guide implementation of HOPWA Modernization. Those values are:
- No one should become homeless as a result of HOPWA Modernization;
- All funds should be utilized to meet the needs of eligible households, with no funds recaptured;
- Grantees should ensure that project designs meet the changing needs of the modern HIV epidemic, with the goal of positive health outcomes and reduced viral loads for HOPWA-assisted households.
The Baltimore EMSA has been identified as a highly impacted community, due to the drastic loss of funds that will take place over the next five years. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has assigned Technical Assistance (TA) providers to work with all highly impacted communitiesto to plan and develop strategic plans that ensure OHH values are implemented. The City and Cloudburst Group (TA provider) has executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to implement the City’s plan to serve those affected by HIV/AIDS in the Baltimore EMSA.
The City of Baltimore’s HOPWA Program has partnered with the State of Maryland’s Ryan White (RW) Program. For FY2020 the State awarded the City’s HOPWA program a $1.1 million support RW eligible services provided under the City’s HOPWA program and sub-recipients. Over the last fiscal year, this partnership allowed the City to place an additional $1,045,921 in our tenant-based rental assistance program to house additional individuals. These State Special Funds (SSFs) were used to cover services to HOPWA eligible households such as:
- Medical and Non-Medical Case Management
- Home and Community-Based Health Services
- Emergency Financial Assistance
- Food Bank/Home Delivered Meals
- Substance Abuse Outpatient Services
- Health Medical/Intensive Care Services
- Medical Nutritional Therapy
- Medical Transportation
- Short and/or Medium Term Housing Assistance
It is anticipated that through HOPWA Modernization the Baltimore EMSA will lose between $2.6 and $3 million in funding through 2022. The SSF grant award from the state will offset a portion of the loss. The HOPWA Modernization Technical Assistance MOU with Cloudburst Group will address:
- Support for grantee to increase knowledge and development of policies/procedures for utilizing:
- Supportive Services funding – employment/education and strategies to increase household income;
- Support working with MD counties in EMSA, in terms of future allocation or resources and effective strategies for collaboration;
- Support modeling budget impacts of strategy changes;
- Coordination with Ryan White resources coming from State and City; and
- Support evaluating instituting time limits for TBRA recipients.