Housing and Health

Content From: HIV.govUpdated: November 6, 20232 min read


With safe and affordable housing, people with HIV are better able to start and stay on HIV treatment.

Why Do People with HIV Need Stable Housing?

Stable housing is closely linked to successful HIV outcomes. With safe, decent, and affordable housing, people with HIV are better able to access medical care and supportive services, get on HIV treatment, take their HIV medication consistently, and see their health care provider regularly. In short: the more stable your living situation, the better you do in care.

Individuals with HIV who are experiencing homelessness or lack stable housing, on the other hand, are more likely to delay HIV care and less likely to access care consistently or to adhere to their HIV treatment.

At least half of Americans living with HIV experience homelessness or housing instability following their HIV diagnosis. People with HIV risk losing their housing due to such factors as stigma and discrimination, increased medical costs and limited incomes, or reduced ability to keep working due to HIV-related illnesses.

What Federal Housing Assistance Programs Are Available for People with HIV?

Securing stable housing can help people achieve successful HIV outcomes.

To help take care of the housing needs of low-income people with HIV and their families, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of HIV/AIDS Housing manages the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) programExit Disclaimer. The HOPWA program is the only Federal program dedicated to addressing the housing needs of people with HIV. Under the HOPWA program, HUD makes grants to local communities, states, and nonprofit organizations to provide housing assistance and supportive services for low-income people with HIV and their families. (View grantee eligibility requirementsExit Disclaimer.)

Many local HOPWA programs and projects provide short-term and long-term rental assistance, operate community residences, or provide other supportive housing facilities that have been created to address the needs of people with HIV.

Find a HOPWA Grantee or Local ProgramExit Disclaimer.

Are People with HIV Eligible for Other HUD Programs?

In addition to the HOPWA program, people with HIV are eligible for any HUD program for which they might otherwise qualify (such as by being low-income or homeless). Programs include public housing, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, housing opportunities supported by Community Development Block Grants, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and the Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Program.

Find Housing Assistance: If you are experiencing homelessness, at risk of becoming homeless, or know someone who is, help is available. Use HUD’s Resource Locator to find housing assistance programs near you.

Access Other Housing Information: Find resources for people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homelessExit Disclaimer, including youthExit Disclaimer, veteransExit Disclaimer, and people who are experiencing chronic homelessnessExit Disclaimer, as well as rental, homebuyer, and homeowner assistance.

This page was developed in collaboration with HUD’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing.