Housing Groups Receive HOPWA Funds

EIGHT LOCAL NONPROFIT organizations and one city agency will share in $10.4 million to provide housing for people with AIDS. The funding comes from the latest round of the federal Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program.

Nearly 300 people living with HIV/ AIDS and their families will be assisted by the grants, which will help to provide permanent and transitional housing as well as support services to the households, according to the department. The recently awarded grants are in addition to $19 million awarded in August 2008 to renew funding to 18 existing HOPWAfunded projects.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that it provided $300 million in HOPWA funds in fiscal 2008 and is seeking the same amount this year.

The recent recipients are Health Services Center, Inc., Anniston, Ala.; The Salvation Army, Los Angeles; Broward House, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Heartland Human Care Services, Chicago; AIDS Interfaith Residential Services, Inc., Baltimore; Clare Housing, Minneapolis; Grace House, Jackson, Miss.; Bailey House, Inc., New York City; and the city of Dallas.

Median Rental Housing Cost: $755

THE U.S. MEDIAN monthly housing cost was $927 for owners and $755 for renters in 2007, according to the 2007 American Housing Survey.

For owners, housing costs take up about 20 percent of the typical household's income. It was much higher for renters at 33 percent.

The survey also found that from seasonal vacation homes to mobile homes, housing units in the United States increased by nearly 4 million, from 124.4 million in 2005 to 128.2 million in 2007. The number of occupied units grew from 108.9 million to 110.7 million. The median home value in 2007 was $191,471.

Issued every two years by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the survey is a wideranging look at the nation's housing stock.

More Homeless Students Reported

SCHOOL DISTRICTS across the nation are seeing a spike in the number of homeless students, largely due to the economic and housing crises, according to a recent report from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth and children's advocacy group First Focus.

The study found that 459 of 1,716 school districts surveyed had an increase of at least 25 percent in the number of homeless students identified between the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years. Additionally, 330 school districts identified as many or more homeless students in the first few months of the current school year as in the entire previous year, and 847 school districts identified half or more of last year's caseload in the first few months of this school year.

“These numbers are alarming so early in the school year, especially when the economic crisis is far from over,” says Tim Stahlke, president of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

As part of the survey, school districts reported the challenges associated with the growing number of homeless students. These include rising transportation costs and logistical challenges in making sure homeless children have access to school, as well as inadequate staffing levels to identify and support those students experiencing homelessness.

The report, The Economic Crisis Hits Home: The Unfolding Increase in Child & Youth Homelessness.