Native New Yorker Barry Hers offers expert insight into the city’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration, its programs, and its additional benefits.
HASA, or the HIV/AIDS Services Administration, is a New York City initiative established in 1985 in recognition of the additional or special needs of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, particularly in regards to accessing and maintaining their government benefits. A supporter of the organization and its work for more than two decades, property investors and real estate professional Barry Hers reveals more about HASA’s processes and the additional benefits of its ever-growing roster of programs.
“Since its inception, HASA has had several names,” explains Hers, whose offices are based in Brooklyn, “including the Division of AIDS Services and the Division of AIDS Services and Income Support.”
Exclusive to New York City residents, HASA’s full benefits package includes intensive case management, housing assistance, and nutrition and transportation allowances. “In the wider state of New York as a whole,” adds Hers, “eligible beneficiaries are entitled to apply for certain, more limited benefits, including enhanced rent allowance, although the full HASA package is only available in New York City itself.”
Currently, the program is administered by the New York City Human Resources Administration. “Many HASA recipients in New York City are eligible for the program’s full array of benefits,” Hers explains, “although other individuals may apply for many of the same benefits on an individual basis, including Medicaid and SNAP, for example.”
“Within HASA, funding for these benefits remains the same as for any other eligible individual living in the United States,” Hers continues, “although for benefits which are specific to HASA and its programs, New York City funds are used exclusively.”
To seek full HASA benefits, applicants must be a resident of New York City. They may also be required to meet further eligibility criteria surrounding citizenship and their financial situation, for example, according to Barry Hers. “All applicants deemed eligible for HASA must also submit medical verification of their HIV/AIDS diagnosis,” he adds, “and cooperate fully with finger imaging and various other requirements.”
The New York City Human Resources Administration authorizes each HASA case for a total of 12 months. Once this period has ended, it’s necessary to resubmit for the program, in order to ensure that eligibility requirements remain met.
Further to the benefits outlined above, successful HASA applicants are also granted access to mental health and substance abuse screening, treatment referrals, and employment and vocational services. “Additional benefits under HASA,” Barry Hers adds, wrapping up, “also include scatter site and congregate housing, and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program.”