Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA)
What is HOPWA? The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program provides housing assistance and supportive services to help low-income persons living with HIV and their households establish or maintain affordable and stable housing, reduce their risk of homelessness, and improve their access to health care and supportive services. The HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch administers the program, which is funded by annual formula grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The following program services are available in Amarillo, El Paso, Lubbock, and Permian Basin HIV Service Delivery Areas (HSDA) as authorized by DSHS:
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) – TBRA is a rental subsidy used to help households obtain permanent housing, including assistance for shared housing arrangements, in the private rental housing market. TBRA works like the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program in that the assistance pays the difference between the contractual rent to the owner and the household’s calculated rent payment. The gross rent of the proposedunitmustbeatorbelowtheloweroftherentstandardorthereasonablerent.
Short-Term Tent, Mortgage, and Utility Assistance (STRMU) – STRMU provides short term, rent, mortgage, and utility payments for households experiencing a financial crisis as a result of their HIV health condition or a change in their economic circumstances. STRMU is designed to prevent households from becoming homeless by helping them remain in their own dwellings.
Permanent Housing Placement (PHP) – PHP may be used to help households establish permanent residence in which continued occupancy is expected. Eligible costs include application fees, related credit checks, utility hookup fees and deposits, and reasonable security deposits necessary to move persons into permanent housing.
Housing Case Management – Housing Case Management is considered a central component of HOPWA supportive services and key to successful program outcomes for housing stability and access to care. “Housing case management” simply means that the central emphasis of a case manager’s work with a household is placed on housing issues, including evaluation of housing options, housing stability, and housing specific goals. Housing Case Management may be provided in conjunction with housing assistance services or as a standalone service.
What are the requirements? Households must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the DSHS HOPWA Program:
1) At least one household member must be living with HIV (24 CFR §574.3);
2) Household annual gross income cannot exceed 80 percent of area median income per the household’s county of residence (24 CFR §574.3); and
3) The household must reside in the Project Sponsor’s HSDA (DSHS requirement).
Applying households must provide the following:
- Proof of an HIV diagnosis for at least one household member (documented before eligibility certificate date)
- Proof of gross income for all household members 18 years of age and older
- Proof of current residency for all household members 18 years of age and older
Contact the HOPWA Project Sponsor for your area to get specific information on each requirement and to set a time to complete an application. The Project Sponsors are listed below.
The DSHS HOPWA Program uses standardized program and service forms to assist Project Sponsors with program enrollment and service delivery. DSHS Project Sponsors are required to use the DSHS HOPWA Program forms unless otherwise noted in the DSHS HOPWA Program Manual. The DSHS HOPWA Program Manual is located on the DSHS website at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/hivstd/hopwa/.
Amarillo: Panhandle AIDS Support Organization (PASO)
1501 SW 10thStreet, Amarillo, TX 79101
El Paso: South Plains Community Action Association Project CHAMPS
1201 E. Schuster, Building A, El Paso, TX 79902
Lubbock: South Plains Community Action Association Project CHAMPS
3307 Avenue X, Lubbock, TX 79411
Permian Basin: PermiaCare Basin Assistance Services (BAS)
1330 East 8th, Suite 410, Odessa, TX 79761