The Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS Program (HOPWA) is a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that provides low income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families with housing assistance and related supportive services.
HOPWA funds may be used to assist all forms of housing designed to prevent homelessness including emergency housing, shared housing arrangements, apartments, single room occupancy (SRO) dwellings, and community residences. Appropriate services must be provided as a part of any HOPWA housing assistance, but HOPWA funds may also be used to provide services independently of any housing activity.
HOPWA funds are awarded directly from HUD to the state of Wisconsin. The state then awards all HOPWA funds to a single grantee agency with the capacity to provide HOPWA services to all areas of the state outside the Milwaukee and Minneapolis/St. Paul urban areas.
All cities, counties, housing authorities, tribal agencies, and private nonprofit agencies located in Wisconsin are eligible to apply under the HOPWA application. Private, nonprofit agencies must be organized under Wisconsin Chapter 181, be exempt from taxation under subtitle A of Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, governed by a voluntary board of directors, use approved accounting systems, and practice nondiscrimination in the provision of assistance.
All applicant agencies must serve the entire the 66-county HOPWA service area of Wisconsin, outside the Milwaukee and Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan areas, and be in good standing with the Department of Administration and the Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources (no unresolved monitoring findings, no outstanding required reports, no major audit finding, etc.). Applicant agencies must be registered with the Federal System for Award Management (SAM) and cannot be listed as a debarred contractor.
The grantee agency awarded HOPWA funding will be subject to a monitoring process conducted by DEHCR staff at least once during the performance period.
The following activities may be carried out with HOPWA funding:
- Housing information services including counseling and referral to assist eligible persons to locate, acquire, finance and maintain housing.
- Resource identification to establish, coordinate and develop housing assistance resources for eligible persons.
- Acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease and repair of facilities to provide housing and services and SRO or community residence new construction.
- Project or tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA), including assistance for shared housing arrangements.
- Short-term rent, mortgage and utility (STRMU) payments to prevent the homelessness of tenants or mortgagers of dwellings.
- Supportive services including, but not limited to health, mental health, assessment, permanent housing placement, drug and alcohol abuse treatment and counseling, day care, nutritional services, intensive care when required and assistance in gaining access to local State and Federal government benefits and services.
- Technical assistance in establishing and operating a community residence.
The grantee agency may use up to seven percent of the HOPWA award for administrative funds to support housing activities.
The grantee agency must comply with federal requirements in 24 CFR part 574 - Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS. These include standards for supportive services and housing quality inspections as well as non-discrimination and equal opportunity requirements.
Approximately $950,000 is available annually for HOPWA programs serving the 66-county defined service area in Wisconsin, which covers the entire state of Wisconsin except for Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties in the Milwaukee metropolitan area and Pierce and St. Croix counties in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. The six counties outside the service area are provided HOPWA funding under separate grants from HUD.
The grant application cycle for this program begins in late summer. The awarded applicant must be able to provide housing and supportive services to the entire 66-county HOPWA service area. The HOPWA contract performance period begins the following October and may be renewed for an additional year, based on satisfactory performance.
The current HOPWA grantee is Vivent Health.