ACTUP/BOSTON COMMUNITY ALERT
An Open Letter to the Community: Devastating HIV Cutbacks on the Way!
In the past few years our community has felt the impact of major cuts to our programs at the federal and state level. BUT THIS IS JUST THE BEGINING!! Reductions in funding that have already been legislated await us. These cuts will make the burden of caring for our community next year and beyond even more difficult and threaten the very existence of AIDS Service Organizations that have served us for so many years.
This is what we face:
A $1.2 million dollar cut in Massachusetts programs this fiscal year (between now and June 30th) on top of nearly $20 million of cuts since 2001.
Continued Millions of dollars in cuts in Federal CDC Prevention funds which will reduce HIV counseling and testing, group programs and other services.
A reduction in Ryan White funding this fiscal year (mandated by the Federal Budget) and an across the board 8.2% cut beginning on Jan 2nd, three months from now (as part of the budget Control Act, the so-called “fiscal cliff”). This means a reduction in housing advocacy and rental start-up programs, case management services, the Ryan White Dental Program and special substance abuse supports, taxi cab vouchers, food programs such as BLC meals and other services.
Both the Obama and the Paul Ryan Budgets for the next year (2013) call for major short funding of Project-Based Section 8 housing subsidies. Not only was there no increase in last year’s budget, but the 2013 budget will have an 8.4% cut added to the small amount already being discussed.
Once these cuts go through, all HUD subsidized tenants may be asked to pay significantly more than the current 30% of their income for rent. Or the subsidies that landlords’ get from HUD may be reduced, causing them to pass along the difference to tenants, or force them to leave the subsidy market altogether, reducing available units of housing for the poor, elderly and the disabled.
The Federal Fiscal Cliff: Across the Board Cuts
Unless there is a change in the current federal budget, every category of human service funding will slashed beginning Jan 3rd. Medicare and Medicaid will cut by around 3%. Food stamps, heating subsidies, education – will be cut by up to 8.4% because of “fiscal cliff”, mandatory 8.4% cutbacks from the Budget Control Act of 2012.
Again, these cuts are only the beginning, pending the outcome of the election, further even more devastating cuts will likely be implemented!
Funding has never been enough to meet the needs of our communities and now they want to cut funding even more. Programs that are crucial to our community face either yearly reductions or flat funding despite ever‐increasing caseloads and mounting need for housing, food, and other necessities for our community and all communities in need. It is time to fully fund HIV/AIDS services and prevention!
Our communities have always been able to come together and fight back against HIV and the crises that come with it. Come to Club Cafe (209 Columbus Avenue Boston) for our weekly ACTUP/Boston meeting at 7:15pm for the latest information on funding, and more importantly, to plan a strategy to stop these attacks on our very livelihood.
The Members of ACTUP/Boston
actupboston.org and facebook.com/actupboston