In 1987, AIDS Healthcare Foundation was founded in Los Angeles as a housing and medical-care provider for terminally-ill AIDS patients. Decades later, in California and throughout the country, AHF’s patients have been negatively impacted by the housing affordability and homelessness crises. AHF, as a result, has returned to its housing roots — and is now rolling out a comprehensive housing platform.
AHF, led by co-founder and president Michael Weinstein, operates in 45 countries, including the U.S., Mexico, South Africa, India, China, and Russia. It serves more than 1.5 million patients, providing free HIV drug treatment and prevention services. AHF understands how to tackle crises on a global scale.
In 2017, AHF created a housing provider division called Healthy Housing Foundation and a housing advocacy division called Housing Is A Human Right. As part of AHF’s longtime mission, the organization believes in cutting-edge advocacy to create policy change — a method of operation that’s been hugely successful since the 1980s.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s housing platform can be found here in PDF format. What anchors the plan is AHF’s multi-pronged approach to housing called the “3 Ps”: protect, preserve, and produce.
In summary, “prevent” involves addressing gentrification and homelessness by keeping rent under control and discouraging evictions. “Preserve” entails supporting sustainable land-use policies that maintain neighborhood integrity. “Produce” involves creating affordable housing through the adaptive reuse of motels and other existing buildings and utilizing cost-effective new construction.
AHF’s housing platform also includes Housing Is A Human Right’s advocacy priorities for 2021. Those include advocating for rent control and eviction defense and seeking to reform the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and Ellis Act. HHR will also push for more adaptive re-use of existing buildings to quickly produce low-income and homeless housing, and oppose anti-homeless policies that criminalize the unhoused. And HHR will work to resist gentrification in communities.
HHR is currently urging Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators to use the state’s windfall to provide $5 billion in renter relief, which also benefits small landlords.
Healthy Housing Foundation has helped to pioneer a model for homeless and low-income housing that utilizes adaptive re-use. HHF and its affiliates have already housed more than 1,350 clients across the U.S., and will continue to house more people.
As AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its housing divisions continue to work urgently to address the housing affordability and homelessness crises, we hope you’ll answer our calls to action. Since 1987, AHF has seen that people power can create change and make a difference, but we will need your help.