States to Receive Housing Funds for AIDS, HIV Patients

Florida and 12 other states will receive $18.8 million in grant money to help cover housing costs for those infected with HIV and AIDS, federal officials said Wednesday.

The grant money is part of $282 million budgeted for people nationwide whose housing needs are affected by AIDS, Alphonso Jackson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said during a ceremony in Tampa.

"We have to keep the promise to help those who are most in need," Jackson said.

The money will cover short-term rent payments, mortgage and utility bills, and provide other support for those with AIDS or HIV who are homeless or in danger of becoming so, said Michael A. Bernstein, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services in Clearwater.

The agency will distribute $1.3 million from HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program for services in the Tampa Bay area, Bernstein said.

Florida will share the $18.8 million housing grant money with: California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Texas and West Virginia.