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Federal program grants $2 million to house Oregonians living with HIV/AIDS

The federal government is granting more than $2 million to help Oregonians living with HIV/AIDS maintain stable housing.

The money is part of a long-running program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development called Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, which first began in 1992.

“The program in the early ‘90s was really focusing on giving people with AIDS a place to die with dignity,” said Amy Palilonis, deputy director of HUD’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing.

As health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS have improved, the housing program has evolved, Palilonis said.

“The importance of people with HIV has been well-documented,” she said. “And there’s a really strong connection between stable housing and positive health outcomes for people with HIV.”

Nationally, the program helped more than 50,000 households last year.

In Oregon, the Cascade AIDS project and the Oregon Health Authority spent the grant money to support more than 140 households.

“People experiencing housing instability are identified as a priority population in Oregon’s new five-year strategic plan to end HIV/STI, and [the housing] program participants have achieved high levels of viral suppression,” Annick Benson-Scott, with the Oregon Health Authority, said in a statement.

The grant program is one of several HUD funds to help vulnerable populations get or maintain stable housing.

Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.