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 assisted housing, but HOPWA funds may also be used to provide services independent 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.
Any non-profit organization or governmental housing agency is an eligible applicant. There are specific requirements for participation by religious organizations. The Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources administers the application and contract process, monitors the work of the grant recipient and files required reports with HUD.
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, including assistance for shared housing arrangements.
- Short term rent, mortgage and utility 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.
Grant award recipients 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 as well as non-discrimination and equal opportunity requirements.
Approximately $850,000 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.
Funds are distributed in response to an application process. The selected grantee must be able to provide HOPWA services to the entire 66-county service area. Contracts are scheduled to start October 1st of each year and may be multi-year agreements.
The current HOPWA grantee is Vivent Health.