The AIDS Housing Opportunity Act of 1992 provided states and localities with resources and incentives to develop long-term strategies to meet the housing needs of persons with AIDS. This Act made it possible for persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) to obtain safe, decent, and sanitary housing along with the supportive services necessary to maintain housing stability and enhance their quality of life. Stable housing and supportive services have proved to be necessary for persons living with HIV/AIDS to participate fully in community living.
HOPWA is a formula entitlement program, issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). All formula grants are awarded upon the submission and approval of a consolidated plan, which describes the assistance to be provided under the formula grant.
The City of Baltimore is the grantee for the Baltimore-Towson Eligible Metropolitan Statistical Area (EMSA) because it is a metropolitan area with a population of more than 500,000 and has more than 1,500 cumulative cases of AIDS, under the original formula allocation. As the HOPWA grantee, the City of Baltimore is responsible for ensuring that eligible persons that live anywhere within the EMSA are served.
The Baltimore-Towson EMSA covers Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, and Queen Anne’s County. The EMSA provides rental assistance and supportive services to eligible low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. All jurisdictions, except for Carroll County, provide housing assistance, in the form of tenant-based rental assistance. The goal for HOPWA in the Baltimore EMSA is to provide persons living with HIV/AIDS with a stable living environment in order to gain better access to care.