The Housing Opportunities for Persons with HIV/AIDS, or HOPWA, provides resources to meet the housing needs of low income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
HOPWA beneficiaries are persons diagnosed with AIDS or tested to be seropositive for HIV. The resident family household or single individual must also be low income, defined as income that does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area. The household must reside within Jefferson, Orange or Hardin counties to be eligible for assistance.
HOPWA provides housing assistance and supportive services to reduce the risk of homelessness and includes linkages to medical care, chemical dependency treatment, mental health treatment, nutritional services and many other supportive services.
Click here to apply for HOPWA Assistance. If you need access to a computer, there is an application kiosk located in the lobby at the BHA Central Office, located at 1890 Laurel in Beaumont.
BHA operates the following programs through HOPWA:
Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
TBRA is a rental subsidy used to help households obtain or maintain permanent housing, including assistance for shared housing arrangements, in the private rental housing market until they are able to enroll in another affordable housing program. If the household moves out of the unit, payments to the owner will end and the household can move with continued assistance to another unit. This is a transitional program until households can secure other affordable housing – failure to accept an offer of other affordable housing may result in termination of HOPWA assistance.
TBRA only pays current rental costs. In shared housing arrangements where two or more unrelated households live together and divide rental costs, BHA will prorate assistance for the portion of the unit occupied by the enrolled household.
TBRA cannot pay rental or utility debts, late or reconnect fees or mortgages. TBRA cannot pay costs that exceed the maximum subsidy. TBRA cannot pay initial move in costs. Households cannot receive TBRA and STRMU services at the same time. TBRA may not be used to assist mortgagers, homeless households or households moving into a new housing arrangement.
Short Term Rent, Mortgage and Utility Assistance (STRMU)
STRMU is intended to provide only a temporary solution for an unstable living arrangement and will be connected to a long term Individual Training and Service Plan (ITSP) for maintaining the household. STRMU provides assistance for rent, mortgage payments and utilities. STRMU can pay late fees and other penalties if, in the event of nonpayment, the household would be at risk of eviction or loss of housing.
STRMU mortgage assistance may include costs for property taxes, insurance and condo fees, when they are included as part of their monthly mortgage payment either by federal regulation or through the terms of the mortgage.
STRMU cannot be provided to households receiving rental assistance from another federal, state or local housing assistance program, such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program or Public Housing.
STRMU was established to prevent a household from becoming homeless, and, therefore, can only be used to prevent eviction from or the loss of a housing unit that is occupied by qualified persons. STRMU cannot be provided to a household that is homeless, or to assist a household in moving into a new housing arrangement. STRMU may not be used for moving assistance, security deposits or first month’s rent.
In addition, STRMU may not be used as support for an open line of credit or loan that was secured by a house; taxes, insurance or condo fees paid separately from the mortgage payment; assistance for payment towards personal loans or credit debts secured against the home; assistance for a second mortgage when the first mortgage payments are not current; or down payment assistance to support the purchase of a new home.
Furthermore, the cost of household supplies, furnishings, automobile repairs, basic phone services, internet services or cable/satellite dish services are not eligible under STRMU.
Permanent Housing Placement (PHP)
PHP services may be used to help households pay for reasonable costs to move persons to permanent housing. PHP pays for both service and housing assistance costs, such as:
Eligible PHP service costs include activities that assist households with locating suitable housing, including providing tenant counseling, housing search services and mediation services related to tenant/landlord issues.
Housing Assistance Costs
Eligible PHP housing assistance costs include application fees, credit checks, utility hookup fees and deposits and security deposits. Security deposits may not exceed 2 months of rent, and deposits must be returned to BHA when the household leaves the unit.
Ineligible costs include rental and utility debts, costs for housing supplies, smoke detectors, furnishings, unit repairs and other incidental costs. Households can be housed or homeless. PHP can assist households with finding more affordable, permanent housing arrangements if long term housing stability is not expected in their current arrangement.
The HOPWA program provides supportive services to eligible individuals, either directly or through referral to appropriate service providers. Supportive Services may be provided either in conjunction with HOPWA housing assistance or as a standalone service. Households must agree to ongoing assessments to ensure housing stability.
All households must build an Individual Training & Service Plan (ITSP), as well as a budget. The ITSP will promote housing stability without fostering long term dependency on program services.
The ITSP will have goals, prioritized tasks and target dates for completion. The ITSP is a living document, subject to updates and revisions as situations, goals and strategies for achieving goals change. Housing assistance will only be provided to households that demonstrate adherence to their ITSP.
BHA has a network of local agencies responsible for carrying out employment training programs or programs funded under the Workforce Investment Act as well as other organizations, such as other state, local, or tribal welfare and employment agencies, public and private education or training institutions, child care providers, nonprofit service providers, private business, and any other public and private service providers with resources to assist the HOPWA program.
If a household is not adhering to their ITSP or HOPWA program rules, or if the case manager has a reason to believe the household is committing fraud or inappropriately using program services, BHA may terminate the household from the program per its termination policies and procedures.